Did you know about everything light can do?

Did You Know…

… About Everything Light Can Do?


What do you think of when you hear the term “artificial light”? Probably lighted rooms, driving at night, or perhaps the masses of lampshades displayed in furniture stores. Yet artificial light is used more often than you might think: the scanners at the supermarket checkout, lasers in the auto industry, and the Internet all work using light. The technical use of electromagnetic radiation is now an integral part of our everyday lives – increasingly in combination with state-of-the-art electronics and software.

Optical technologies utilize the extraordinary properties of light: its ability to be focused, its breathtaking speed, and extremely short pulses. Optical technologies are regarded as the pacemakers in modern industry and society. And German optical companies are keeping up the pace: with their pioneering innovations, employees at ZEISS are striving for ongoing further developments in a wide range of different fields. In medical technology, microscopy or lithography, new optical technologies lead to improved instruments and provide solutions for user issues. To achieve this goal, ZEISS invests on average more than ten percent of sales revenues in research and development.

Optical technologies are one of the most important economic fields in Germany. According the Federal Ministry of Education and Research in Germany, about 16 percent of German employees working in the manufacturing trade are directly or indirectly involved with optical technologies. Yesterday, leading companies published the Photonik 2020 memorandum on the “Future of Optical Technologies in Germany.” To put it in a nutshell: German companies continue to lead the world market in optics systems. Photonics, the technology for generating and harnessing light, is a key focal point of the country’s innovation policy. Optical technologies made in Germany offer cutting-edge quality – there’s a reason why exports account for 65 percent of sales. And the industry is continuing to grow: according to the memorandum, production in the optics industry will increase by an annual average of eight percent over the next five years.

16 June 2009

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