Light plays a central role in our lives. On the most fundamental level, through photosynthesis, light is at the origin of life itself. The study of light has led to promising alternative energy sources, lifesaving medical advances in diagnostics technology and treatments, light-speed internet and many other discoveries that have revolutionized society and shaped our understanding of the universe.
The International Day of Light (IDL) is celebrated on 16 May each year, the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser in 1960 by physicist and engineer, Theodore Maiman. This day is a call to strengthen scientific cooperation and harness its potential to foster peace and sustainable development.
The International Day of Light celebrates the role light plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy. The celebration will allow many different sectors of society worldwide to participate in activities that demonstrates how science, technology, art and culture can help achieve the goals of UNESCO – building the foundation for peaceful societies.
Annual Photo Contest organized by SPIE
Since 2018, SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics launches a competition. The contest is held to raise awareness about IDL and the vital role that light and light-based technologies play in daily life.
In 2019, photographers from Russia, the United States, and Spain were named winners of the contest, from more than 1,000 entries depicting the world-of-light theme. For the first time, Lightsources.org sponsored the category technology and science and is delighted to congratulate the winning photographer Sergio Ruiz who took a stunning picture at ALBA Synchrotron in Spain (article below in the latest news).
Latest News from the International Day of Light
- Picture of ALBA wins the contest 2019/10/29