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 relativity; 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 communications. 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 science; 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.
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