Optics and photonics: Physics enhancing our lives

Physics and physicists play a vital role in underpinning our way of life, improving its quality and contributing in a major way to wealth creation.

Optics and photonics

Innovations such as lasers and liquid crystal displays, which have become part of everyday life in a diverse range of applications from telecommunications to TVs, emerged from studies in basic physics, becoming crucial technologies in just a few decades. It is, therefore, a worthwhile challenge to speculate where similar explorations today will lead us in the future.

This booklet on optics and photonics, the second in a series covering the main areas of physics, attempts to do just that: highlight and showcase examples of world-leading research in the UK, which has a strong potential for commercial exploitation.

It is jointly sponsored by the Institute of Physics – the professional body and learned society for physics and physicists – and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) – the largest UK funder of physics research.

We hope that this booklet illustrates how the research investment made by the EPSRC, and the support provided by the Institute to its membership, will enable the UK’s economy, and society at large, to benefit from the discoveries and advances being made in leading-edge physics research.