International Year of Light 2015
What is the International Year of Light?
2015 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Light (IYL), bringing together a uniquely wide range of scientific and cultural interests. The applications of light science and technology are vital for existing and future advances in medicine, energy, information and communications, fibre optics, agriculture, mining, astronomy, architecture, archaeology, entertainment, art and culture. Celebrations will take place throughout the year, across the globe, and involve events and activities covering a wide variety of topics for all ages and levels of expertise.
The Institute of Physics is a founding partner for IYL; we have created a national committee and have taken on the role of coordinating national events across the UK. Over 40 institutions and individuals are already contributing towards the planning for the celebrations in 2015. The UK Patron for IYL is His Royal Highness The Duke of York.
Why celebrate IYL in 2015?
2015 marks a large number of anniversaries of significant discoveries:
- 1015 – early works on optics by Ibn al-Haytham;
- 1815 – light as a wave proposed by Fresnel;
- 1865 – Maxwell’s electromagnetic theory of light;
- 1915 – Einstein’s theory of general relativity;
- 1965 – cosmic microwave background (Penzias and Wilson); transmission of light in optical fibres (Kao)
What do we want to achieve in the UK?
Throughout 2015 we aim to:
- Promote light technologies for improved quality of life
- Reduce light pollution and energy waste
- Promote women’s empowerment in science
- Promote education amongst young people
- Promote sustainable development
- Energise existing public engagement networks and create new cross-discipline collaborations that will thrive after 2015
How can I get involved?
There are many ways to join the celebrations in 2015 from supporting events in your local area or even organising your own! There are also opportunities to sponsor national events. Further information and resources for event organisers will be available soon.
How can I find out more?