Optics is the science of light and its interaction with matter. On the one hand, the highly microscopic character of this topic provides attractive questions for basic research, especially in the direction of quantum physics. In Konstanz, for example, we work in the fields of nano-optics and quantum electrodynamics. On the other hand, light in the "century of the photon" is providing more and more technical functionalities, which are summarized under the generic term "photonics". Among other things, the fields of biophotonics, femtosecond laser technology , 4D electron microscopy and photovoltaics (crystalline silicon and new materials) are strongly represented here. The master's program offers a broad spectrum of lectures, which range from technical optics to laser physics and far into quantum theoretical basics. Master's and doctoral theses produce highly qualified specialists in the physics of light with diverse career opportunities in industry and science.
Elementary processes in condensed matter occur on extremely short time scales in the pico-, femto- and attosecond ranges. How do electrons move through the crystal lattice of a semiconductor device? How does a chemical bond break? How is the light incident on the retina of our eye translated into a nervous stimulus? All these questions are the subject of the science studying ultrafast phenomena. In Konstanz, for example, we investigate the relationships that underlie functional systems such as magnetic materials, high-temperature superconductors or hybrid solar cells. For example, we are characterised worldwide by our ability to manipulate individual electrons on the attosecond time scale and even use them to perform microscopy with atomic spatio-temporal resolution. On the other hand, we are able to detect light directly as an electromagnetic field amplitude - i.e. with a precision below its temporal oscillation period and its spatial wavelength - and with a sensitivity that gives us direct access to quantum statistics. This gives us unique insights into the properties of matter and the radiation field on elementary dimensions of time and space.