International Year of Light

On December 20, 2013 the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming that 2015 would be the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, recognizing the importance of light and light-based technologies in the lives of the citizens of the world. The proclamation stressed that an enhanced global awareness of and increased education in the science and technologies of light are vital for addressing challenges such as sustainable development, energy and community health, as well as for improving the quality of life in both developed and developing countries.

The year 2015 is a very special year celebrating anniversaries of important milestones in the history of the science of light.  In 1015 IbnAl-Haytham developed his works on optics.  In 1815 Fresnel proposed the concept that light is a wave.  In 1865 Maxwell published his electromagnetic theory of light propagation.  In 1905 Einstein published his theory of the photoelectric effect.  In 1915 Einstein proposed his theory of embedding light in the cosmology through general relativity. In 1965 Penzias and Wilson's discovered cosmic microwave radiation.  Also in 1965 Koa achieved the transmission of light in fibers for optical communications.

NASA and Light

Light is an important part of NASA's scientific journey of discovery. For example, robotic spacecrafts study our Sun, the source of natural light on Earth. NASA engineers study optical communication, a form of long distance communication that uses light as a means of transmitting information. Light shining on solar cells provides power to many of our robotic spacecrafts, while instruments aboard gather light allowing us to learn more about our world and the universe in which we live.

We invite you to explore the NASA web pages and learn for yourself all of the various ways that NASA scientists and engineers make use of light.