Did You Know ...

... that 2015 is the Year of Light?

Light is the basic requirement for life for humans, animals and plants. Right from the beginning, it played a key role in science and culture. 2015 marks the anniversary of many important events in optics – the study of light. 400 years ago, the first prototype of a machine operated using solar energy was developed, while 200 years ago, Augustin Jean Fresnel published his first work on his theory of wave optics, and 150 years ago, James Clerk Maxwell described the basics of electricity. 100 years ago, Albert Einstein presented his general theory of relativity, and about 50 years ago, Arnold Allan Penzias and Robert Woodrow Wilson provided proof of the big bang with their cosmic background radiation theory. The UNESCO General Conference therefore declared 2015 the International Year of Light.

This tribute gives special recognition to the key role of light in research and culture. After all, scientific insights in relation to light led to a deeper understanding of our planetary system, better treatment options in medicine and the discovery of new means of communication. The global activities to mark the UN year are being coordinated by a secretariat in the UNESCO International Center for Theoretical Physics (ICTP). In Germany, the German Society of Physics (DPG) and the German UNESCO Commission are taking the lead.

As an innovation leader in the area of Photonics, ZEISS is also bringing the importance of light for science, technology, nature and culture closer to the public. To do this, the company is participating in numerous events for students and young scientists as well as experts, politicians, members of the press and other interested individuals. These events show how ZEISS has been harnessing light through future-oriented technologies for over 165 years. ZEISS is also carrying out research to find solutions for pressing issues in the fields of health, energy, miniaturization and data processing.

The official kick-off of the International Year of Light in Germany takes place on 27 February in Munich in conjunction with the opening of the new planetarium in the Deutsches Museum, which is equipped with ZEISS technology. Microscopy Day, Astronomy Day and the Optics Weeks will be held in March. Information on these and other events is available on the following websites:

2 March 2015