The International Day of Light, celebrated yearly on the 16th May, was established by UNESCO in 2016 following the success of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015. It was created to raise awareness to the achievements of light science and its applications, and its importance to humankind. This date was chosen after the first successful laser operation in 1960 by Theodore Maiman, an American physicist and engineer.

With events spread all over the world, the International Year of Light addresses several goals, including to improve the public understanding of how light and light-based technologies influence the daily lives of everybody and are central to the future development of the global society. It is also aimed at building worldwide educational capacity and emphasising the importance of basic research in the fundamental science of light and thereby raise awareness for the continued need of investment and career promotion in this area. Moreover, it also highlights the relation between light, art and culture. Finally, by promoting the importance of lighting technology and the need to access to light and energy infrastructure it contributes to sustainable development and improving the quality of life in the developing world.

MIRACLE is an initiative of the Photonics Public Private Partnership, a Key Enabling Technology driving growth and employment in Europe and contributing to solving the major societal challenges. In particular, MIRACLE is developing a novel MIR-ATR arthroscopy probe for the diagnosis of joint disease.

Photonics Finland, one of MIRACLE’s partners, is organising the Optics and Photonics Days OPD2019, the Official International Day of Light event in Finland. It will take place in Aalto University from the 27th to 29th May and all are welcome to attend.