Celebrating the International Year of Light across the UK in 2015 •

Celebrating the
International Year of Light
across the UK in 2015
www.light2015.org • www.light2015.org.uk
The International Year of Light in the UK
2015 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Light,
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.
Why 2015?
What are the aims?
2015 was chosen because it marks a number of
significant scientific anniversaries:
1015 – the early works on optics by Islamic
scholar Ibn al-Haytham;
1815 – the notion of light as a wave
proposed by Fresnel;
1865 – the electromagnetic theory of light
propagation proposed by Maxwell;
1915 – the embedding of light in cosmology
through Einstein’s theory of general
1965 – the discovery of the cosmic
microwave background by Penzias and
Wilson, and Kao’s achievements on the
transmission of light in fibres for optical
Internationally, the year has a number
of objectives:
To promote light technologies for improved
quality of life in the developed and
developing world;
To reduce light pollution and energy waste;
To promote women’s empowerment in
To promote education among young people;
To promote sustainable development, in
particular through the “Study after Sunset”
programme to increase the availability of
solar lighting in the developing world.
In the UK
Events and activities will be held around the country throughout 2015, and more than 40 UK
institutions are already working together to co-ordinate plans for the Year. It also has the support of
the Duke of York, who is Patron of the International Year of Light in the UK.
The UK has a particularly strong photonics sector, worth an annual £10.5 bn to the economy and
with a growing, high-technology export market. The Year is an opportunity to celebrate this success.
How can you get involved?
Please join us in celebrating the International Year of Light in the UK in 2015 by supporting events in
your area, or even organising your own.
Find out more by visiting www.light2015.org.uk.