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IYL2015: Opening Ceremonies Mark Light’s Global Reach

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More than a thousand participants are expected here Jan. 19 and 20 for opening ceremonies marking the International Year of Light.

Established by a UN resolution, the International Year of Light and Light-Based Technologies is a global initiative to raise awareness of how photonics and optics promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health.

The UNESCO Fontenoy Building.
The UNESCO Fontenoy Building. Courtesy of UNESCO.

The festivities will take place around the Paris headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Five Nobel laureates will give plenary lectures on energy, telecommunications and the fundamental physics of light-matter interactions. The speakers are: femtoscience pioneer and Caltech professor Dr. Ahmed Zewail; former U.S. Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu; Dr. Zhores Alferov, rector of St. Petersburg Academical University; NIST fellow Dr. William Phillips; and College of France professor Dr. Serge Haroche.

Other events will recognize Albert Einstein, who described the quantum nature of light in 1905 in his special theory of relativity, and 11th-century Arab thinker Ibn al-Haytham, who is considered the father of modern optics.

Other events marking the International Year of Light are planned throughout 2015 around the world. For event listings and other information, visit

Mar 2015
IYL2015EuropeFranceInternational Year of LightEuro News

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