International Year of Light 2015

The year 2015 has been declared as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL2015) by the United Nations General Assembly. The goal of this global initiative is to "highlight to the citizens of the world the importance of light and optical technologies in their lives, for their futures, and for the development of society". Light plays a central role, not only in science and technology, but also in nature as well as in art and culture. In particular, the exploration of the physics of light and the resulting light-based technologies significantly contribute to an improved quality of life in terms of health, communication and the environment.

The Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light would like to contribute to the IYL2015's success and organises various individual events in cooperation with the Institute of Optics, Information and Photonics of the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) both on a regional level and with international scope. Here is an overview.

Street Art Science of Light

For this art and science project, on August 20 2015 pupils were invited to visit MPL. After a short introduction to the institute and lab tours, the students created chalk graffitis showing different motives related to the science at MPL. Theses graffitis were distributed at central locations in Erlanger afterwards.

Please find further information as well as explanations of the motives here (German website).


die.Lichtbühne (“light stage”) is a public outreach activity that takes place regularly in 2015. At central city locations, we invite pedestrians to visit our booth where we present exciting short talks and a couple of nice experiments, each time with a different scientific focus in the field of optics.
The final Lichtbühne in 2015 took place on 5 December from 4-7 pm at Hugenottenplatz, Erlangen.
Please find further information and pictures about die.Lichtbühne here.




Cooperation with the Max Planck Society (MPG)

In cooperation with MPG, two Max Planck Forum (panel discussions on particular socially relevant topics) were organized. Prof. Dr. Gerd Leuchs was a member of both panels and explained the relevance of quantum cryptography to the public.


In May MPG's central IYL2015 websites have been launched (both in German):

Light was also the topic of a special issue of the MaxPlanckResearch magazine dedicated to IYL2015, with an MPL contribution about "Secret Code in a Laser Pulse"

In 2015 MPL will in particular promote young researchers at different levels, for example within the framework of "Jugend forscht" or as host of the renowned International Siegman School on Lasers 2015. This summer school was organized in cooperation with the Optical Society from August 2-7 in Amberg, Germany. More than 80 international young scientists from all over the world as well as 10 distinguished invited speakers participated in this very successful event. (detailed report including pictures)

Further information as well as an overview of national and international events can be found on the following websites: (German) 


Contact: Dr. Bettina Heim