Dr. Torsten Siebert

Max Born Institute for Nonlinear Optics and Short Pulse Spectroscopy

Max-Born-Str. 2a, 12489 Berlin

++49 (0)30 6392 1414



Freie Universität Berlin, Departement of Physics

Arnimallee 14, 14195 Berlin



























































Winter Semester 2016/17

Department of Physics
Arnimallee 14, 14195 Berlin

Modern Methods in Experimental Physics (Course 20107601)

Lecture Series and Exercises: Fundamentals in Modern Optics

Links: Department of Physics, Freie Universität Berlin; Course Catalogue WS 2016/17; Course 20107601; Master Programme;
Location: 1.3.48 Seminar Room T3 (Arnimallee 14)
Schedule: Lecture: Mo. 16:00-18:00; Exercises: Mo. 18:00-19:00
First : 17.10.2016
Course language: English
Contact hours: 2+1 (10 ECTS or 10 CP/LP)

Using the most current trends in modern optics and laser science as a point of departure, the fundamental concepts behind key developments and applications in diverse research fields will be treated with question such as: What aspects of laser architecture and variations of the laser scheme can lead to novel technologies such as optical frequency combs, which offer new dimensions in measurement precision and an accuracy beyond the established microwave standard in atomic clocks? What limits short-wavelength lasers and how is coherent radiation down to the X-ray regime obtained? What is the technology behind the generation of the shortest laser pulse to date? How do microcavities and the miniaturization of lasers down to the wavelength of light contribute to modern optics and how can traditional gas lasers inspire new approaches such as controlled lasing in air at long distance for atmospheric science? These and other questions in modern optics will be used as the context for approaching basic, underlying concepts such as the formalism of light propagation in different media, in restricted geometries and at phase transitions. Hereby, the linear and nonlinear optics involved will be treated, all of which are relevant for the generation and application of coherent radiation over the infrared to the visible and ultraviolet up to the X-ray regime. The latter will also introduce general ideas behind nonperturbative and relativistic effects. With these and other topics, the tools for understanding modern optics with basic concepts and a general overview of the underlying formalism will be provided.

Previous Lectures and Seminars:

Department of Physics
Arnimallee 14, 14195 Berlin


  • WS 2015/16: Selected Topics in Physics
    Seminar: Fundamental Optics of Modern Lasers Sources and Their Current Applications - within the curriculum of the masters programme (Wahlpflichtfach Masters)
  • WS 2009/10: Exercises for Experimental Physics I
    Classical mechanics and thermodynamics - within the curriculum of the bachelors programme (Pflichtfach Bachelor)
  • SS 2009: Introduction to Atomic and Molecular Physics
    Lecture series with exercises - within the curriculum of the bachelors programme (Wahlpflichtfach Bachelor)
  • SS 2008: Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy
    Selected topics seminar - within the curriculum of the master's programme (Diplom-Hauptstudium)
  • SS 2007: Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy
    Selected topics seminar - within the curriculum of the master's programme (Diplom-Hauptstudium)
  • SS 2006: Exercises for Experimental Physics II
    Electrostatics, magnetism and optics - within the curriculum of the bachelors programme (Diplom-Gundstudium)

Laboratory Courses:

  • SS 2011: Advanced Lab Course (FP): Solid-State Laser Principles
    Laser experiment illustrating solid-state diode pumping, gain threshold, transversal cavity modes, cw versus Q-switched laser operation and intra-cavity frequency-doubling (concept, installation and first supervision).
  • WS 2008/09: Pilot Project: Independent Physics Laboratory Course
    An alternative program to the prescribed laboratory course experiments for bachelor students, offering the independent design, construction and conducting of experiments in optics on an open breadboard and a toolbox of optical elements (concept, installation and first supervision, with Dr. B. Schattat, FU-Berlin).
  • 2006 - 2008: Assistant in the General Physics Laboratory Courses
    Lab experiment in physics (GPI and GPII) - within the curriculum of the bachelors programme (Diplom-Gundstudium)

Public Science Projects:


  • Fundamental Research Science for the General Public: Collaborative Research Center 450 (2007-2010).
    Public exhibitions held at the Palais de la Découverte Paris in cooperation with the Deutsches Technikmuseum Berlin for transporting the current trends in fundamental research science and the technology employed in modern research activities to the general public with partners from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS), Université de Genève (GAP), Université Claude Bernard Lyon I (LASIM), Ècole Politechnique Palaiseau (LOA), Université de Lille (PhLAM) Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Universität Ulm and support from the French and German embassies in Berlin and Paris as well as the German Academic Exchange Serive (DAAD).

  • 03.10. - 14.12.2008: "Captured in the Trap: Tools of the Nanoworld"
    Public exhibition at the Palais de la Découverte on the use of electric fields for isolating, analyzing and manipulating charged atoms, molecules and particles with classic, linear and segmented Paul traps for demonstrating diverse applications from mass spectrometry to atmospheric science.

  • 23.05. - 02.06.2006: "Ten Billion Watts in a Thread of Light"
    Public exhibition at the Palais de la Découverte with presentations on ultrafast laser physics and nonlinear optics for the general public using an operational femtosecond laser lab for the experiments and demonstrating the technology employed for ultrashort laser pulse generation directly in the museum environment.


T. Siebert and L. Wöste, Das moderne Forschungslabor im Wissenschaftsmuseum, in: Wissenschaftsmuseen im deutsch-franzöischen Dialog, ICOM-Lang Verlag (2009).