The first Day of Photonics took place on 21 October 2014, 21 years after the General Conference of Weights And Measures adopted the value of 299,792.458 km/s for the speed of light.
More than 100 activities were organised in 30 countries around the world and included public demonstrations on the impact of photonics on our day-to-day life, and internal corporate discussions on business opportunities.
'It is exciting to find out about events that took place that I was totally unaware of. I see it as a good sign that I lost control of the initiative and that occasionally it took on a life of its own!' said Carlos Lee from EPIC, coordinator of the initiative.
While most of the events occured in Europe, activities have been reported in Canada, USA, Brazil, Indonesia, Australia, and Taiwan. Ideas for the celebration ranged from light shows in car parks, family visits to work, talks in schools, and informational talks for members of the public.
Last month Lee said the main reason that companies should take part in the day is advocacy. ‘Every company within the industry benefits as photonics becomes more accepted by the public. This day is a day to raise awareness of the many applications that exist for photonics, to help politicians and the general public understand what exactly we within the industry do. We want the public to see what we are doing, to see the careers available within the trade, and for governments to see why it is worth investing in or creating beneficial policies for photonics.’
This was certainly achieved in certain countries that managed to get public visibility through an appearance on television in Estonia and Russia, or newspaper coverage in Finland.
John Dudley, chairman of the International Year of Light 2015 steering committee, commented about the day: 'Day of Photonics is a spectacular success, and shows how bottom-up events in photonics outreach driven by community enthusiasm can grow and develop given opportunity and impetus. EPIC is to be commended for its leadership and initiative in driving the Day of Photonics, and we can already see how it has stimulated interest in photonics worldwide. We are all looking forward to discovering even more public events being run in unexpected places throughout the world in the International Year of Light next year.'
Here is a selection of the photographs sent into EPIC, with a link to the others here.
Centre for young Scientists and Pudak Scientific, Indonesia
The University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, Scotland
Certificate distribution at Modulight, Finland
Berlin Stock Exchange Club, Germany
Laser Show for the Day of Photonics, Lithuania
Lithuania Laser Association, Lithuania
Warsaw University of Technology, Poland