2015 – International Year of Light

The UN General Assembly announced for 2015 the International Year of Light and light -based technologies. Meanwhile, in 2014, around the world the International Year of Crystallography will be celebrated.



Days of lights under the tree and colored lights in the city center. The Winter Solstice and the ancient Roman festival of light. Curious coincidences that accompany the announcement that 2015 will be the International Year of Light , backed by scientific organizations around the world and aims to promote a better understanding of public policy and the central role of light in the modern world .

In proclaiming an International Year focused on the issue of the science of light and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness of how light -based technologies to promote sustainable development by providing solutions to global challenges in the field of energy, agriculture and health.

The International Year is, in fact, an extraordinary opportunity to ensure that politicians are aware of the potential of the technology sector. Photonics provides solutions in the fields of research very different from each other: the production of energy, sustainable development, climate change, health, communications, and agriculture. Innovative lighting solutions can reduce energy consumption and environmental impact, minimizing light pollution and making them appreciate all the beauty of the universe in the night sky.

“Light is essential to life on our planet through photosynthesis , allowing us to see deep back in time to the origins of the universe in the big bang , it helps us communicate with other sentient beings here on earth, and perhaps can afford to talk with what we might find in space ,” said Nobel laureate John Mather . “Einstein has studied the light in the development of the theory of relativity, taking it as a constant of nature’s laws. Now we know that electrons and protons behave in a manner similar to light waves in ways that continue to amaze us. And the optics – concluded Mather – together with photonic technologies developed for space exploration, gives us important consequences in objects and tools that populate our daily lives.”



In the meantime we can stare in front of the crystal which is dedicated to 2014. International Year of Crystallography, the science that has populated with images and structures modern chemistry, molecular biology, pharmaceutical sciences, physics, and solid state physics. Thanks to modern crystallography, the concept of the relationship between form and function is extended from the macroscopic world of machines and mechanical properties of biological organisms to the microscopic world of molecular machines, which details the size of a ten-billionth of a meter lead with inexorable precision the properties of an electronics material, the effectiveness of a drug, or the function of an enzyme.

The crystals make a difference even for astronomers and geologists who deal with the extraterrestrial material that ends up on Earth in the form of fragments and meteorites; unique fragments, such as those found in recent years in the collections of the Museum of Natural History in Florence and in the region of Kamchatka, Russia. Eight samples that can hardly be defined as crystals, because their structure, magnified under the microscope, shows a sign that nature, here on planet Earth, would never have been able to affix: a perfectly ordered structure, as befits a crystal, but not periodic.

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