The United Nation proclaimed the year 2015 the "International Year of light and light-based technologies." In the course of 2015, the importance of light is to be emphasized as a basic prerequisite of life for humans, animals and plants and will be highlighted as an essential topic of science and culture.
The UN formulated the following objectives:
- promotion of light-based technologies, which improve the quality of life in developing countries
- reducing light pollution and energy waste
- strengthening women’s empowerment in science
- promoting education for young people
- promoting sustainable development
This results in a wide range of topics. Some examples are: “Life", "Universe", "Nature", "Communication and Navigation", "Optical instruments", "Heritage", "Light and Art" and "Education for Everybody ".
Not only physicists and astronomers are addressed in order to participate in the International Year of Light, but also industry and medical science, or architects, urban planners, artists, philosophers, sociologists, and last but not least museums.
In addition to current and future developments the year 2015 will offer many anniversaries of the history of science with respect to light, such as:
- 1000 years Arab optics
- 200 years Fresnel's wave theory of light
- 150 years Maxwell's theory of classical electrodynamics
- 100 years Einstein's theory of relativity.
- 50 years discovery of the cosmic microwave background radiation