Washington D.C. to host International Year of Light celebration

Aug. 28, 2015
On September 12, leading U.S. science organizations will host two events to promote the progress and promise of photonics research and education.  

On September 12, leading U.S. science organizations will host two events to promote the progress and promise of light research and education. The two programs will mark the International Year of Light, and will feature the latest in photonics as well as leading scientists and educators to promote improved public understanding of the central role of light in the modern world.

For the family there will be, Wonders of Light: Family Science Fun, an educational event for school-age children with activities demonstrating the science of light. It will take place from 10:00 am – 3:00 pm at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian. The first 1,000 visitors will receive an International Year of Light tote bag. Hands-on activities include an LED-orb that changes color with music, an interactive video game using sensors, and a green screen to be a reporter for a day.

There is also a technical symposium, Light for a Better World: A Celebration of U.S. Innovation, from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at the National Academy of Sciences. The symposium will feature: Eric Betzig, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, 2014 Nobel Prize Winner; France Córdova, National Science Foundation Director; Gerald Duffy, GE Lighting Manager; Michael Liehr, AIM Photonics CEO; Shuji Nakamura, University of California Santa Barbara, 2014 Nobel Prize Winner.

The events are organized by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in conjunction with The American Institute of Physics, The American Physical Society, The IEEE Photonics Society, The National Academy of Sciences, The Optical Society (OSA), and the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). The International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies (IYL 2015; www.light2015.org) is a global initiative adopted by the United Nations (A/RES/68/221) to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.

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