International Year of Light 2015

The Open University "Light collection": freely available multidisciplinary light related materials.

  • Duration 10 mins
  • Updated Tuesday 10th March 2015
  • Introductory level
  • Posted under Events
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2015 has been declared by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Year of Light and Light-based Technology (IYL2015). By proclaiming the IYL2015, the United Nations, together with 100 partners over 85 countries, is recognising the importance of light and light based technology in the lives of the citizens of the world and for the future development of global society on many levels.

2015 also coincides with the anniversaries of a series of milestones in the history of the science of light that are celebrated during the year: 1000 years of “The book Of Optics” by Ibn Al Haytham (1015), 200 years of the Wavelength’s Theory of Light by Fresnel (1815), 150 years of the Electromagnetic Theory of Light by Maxwell (1865), 100 years of General Relativity by Einstein (1915), 60 years of the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background by Penzias & Wilson and the implementation of Fibre Optics in communication by Charles Kao (1965).

All these scientists have changed the world with their revolutionary ideas and the Open University, Gold sponsor for IYL2015, is now proud to present them in a way that you have never seen before. 

But we don’t want to stop here! Embracing the global soul of this international year we would like to invite you to help bring their wonderful stories to people all around the world!

As light is a universal resource which isn’t limited by state, borders or language, we would like to encourage you to help us translate our animation into your own language. Please head over to our translation project to learn how you can help us!

Explore light in...

Astronomy and light collection:

Image of a galaxy with the text 'astronomy'. Copyrighted image Copyright: By Davidherraezcalzada via Dreamstime

OpenScience Lab light collection:

Image of OpenScience Lab logo. An initiative of the Open University and The Wolfsen Foundation. Copyrighted image Copyright: The Open University

Physics and light collection:

Banner image of physics calculations on blackboard with text 'Physics' Copyrighted image Copyright: Nikita Gonin |

Health Science and light collection:

Health Science

Technology and light collection:

Technology-based background with 'technology' text. Copyrighted image Copyright: Alphaspirit |

Light and biology, chemistry and curiosity...

Events throughout the year...

Related links

The Open University and The International Year of Light 

The IYL International website:
The IYL UK website:
The IYL International blog: IYL blog
Twitter accounts:@IYL2015, @light2015UK, #IYL2015