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High Angular Resolution Astronomy (Telescopes, Adaptive Optics, Interferometry, and more)

Module PH2059

This module handbook serves to describe contents, learning outcome, methods and examination type as well as linking to current dates for courses and module examination in the respective sections.

Module version of SS 2017

There are historic module descriptions of this module. A module description is valid until replaced by a newer one.

Whether the module’s courses are offered during a specific semester is listed in the section Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature below.

available module versions
SS 2021SS 2020SS 2019SS 2018SS 2017WS 2010/1

Basic Information

PH2059 is a semester module in English or German language at Master’s level which is offered in summer semester.

This Module is included in the following catalogues within the study programs in physics.

  • Specific catalogue of special courses for nuclear, particle, and astrophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for condensed matter physics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Biophysics
  • Complementary catalogue of special courses for Applied and Engineering Physics

If not stated otherwise for export to a non-physics program the student workload is given in the following table.

Total workloadContact hoursCredits (ECTS)
150 h 40 h 5 CP

Responsible coordinator of the module PH2059 in the version of SS 2017 was Frank Eisenhauer.

Content, Learning Outcome and Preconditions


  • Optics concepts
  • Atmospheric turbulence
  • Speckle interferometry and coronography
  • Adaptive optics I: wavefront sensing, deformable mirrors
  • Adaptive optics II: dynamical control, laser guide stars
  • Interference and coherence, intensity interferometry
  • Optical interferometry I: techniques, components
  • Optical interferometry II: aperture synthesis, astrometry
  • Data analysis and image restoration

Learning Outcome

After participation to the module the student has an overview over the state-of-the-art in high angular resolution astronomy, is able to work with original literature, and is optimally prepared for a master- or PhD project. The lecture also supplements well an ongoing Master- or PhD project in a related research area.


No prerequisites that are not already included in the prerequisites for the Master’s programmes.

Courses, Learning and Teaching Methods and Literature

Courses and Schedule

Learning and Teaching Methods

Oral presentation, discussion




  • Observational astrophysics: Léna, Lebrun & Mignard, 2nd revised an enlarged edition, Springer, Berlin 1998
  • Adaptive Optics for Astronomical Telescopes: Hardy, Oxford University Press, USA, 1998
  • An Introduction to Optical Stellar Interferometry: Labeyrie, Lipson & Nisenson , Cambridge University Press, 2006
  • Principles of Optics: Born & Wolf, Cambridge University Press, 7 edition 1999

Module Exam

Description of exams and course work

There will be an oral exam of 25 minutes duration. Therein the achievement of the competencies given in section learning outcome is tested exemplarily at least to the given cognition level using Knowledge and comprehension questions and sample calculations.

For example an assignment in the exam might be:

  • What is "Seeing", which parameters are used to describe its properties, outline the Kolmogorov model for turbulence
  • Describe the working principle of adaptive optics and its components, give a description in the framework of control theory
  • Outline the principles of stellar interferometry and its main components, how are the measurables related to the intensity distribution of the object

Exam Repetition

The exam may be repeated at the end of the semester.

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