Exactly one hundred years after Albert Einstein first predicted the existence of gravitational waves, the multinational research and collaboration of more than 1,000 scientists culminated this year in the stunning observation of the phenomenon. Such an inspiring breakthrough did not happen overnight; rather, it was reached through a century of observations, questions, ideas and trials, generated by the thousands of people who dedicated their professional lives to advancing the science along the way.
“Having light we pass it on to others” is the motto of my undergraduate alma mater, Wittenberg University. But it could easily be a theme for the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015). As the celebratory year closes, those of us who have light (who understand its unique position in and promise for our world) have a duty to continue passing on to others our love & appreciation of light.
Living in a high-tech world, we don’t always stop to think about what enables us to video chat across the globe, detect cancer or even play an interactive video game. In all of these cases, a key enabler is photonics—applying light (photons) to advance technologies.
The Optical Society (OSA) has been a leader in the science of light for almost 100 years. As we approach the International Year of Light, our members are well positioned to create awareness of the importance light and light-based technologies. As a founding partner of IYL2015, OSA supports the IYL goal of “highlighting to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures and for the development of society.”