International Day of Light

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2024 Date16 May 2024
2025 Date16 May 2025

International Day of Light

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The International Day of Light, celebrated annually on May 16, is an occasion to recognize the immense power of light and the crucial role it plays in our lives. This day aims to raise awareness about how light-based technologies can provide innovative solutions to global challenges in areas such as energy, education, agriculture, and health. By appreciating the science of light, embracing technological advancements, and focusing on the importance of sustainable development, the International Day of Light enables its participants to move towards a bright and enlightened future.

Established by UNESCO, the International Day of Light was first observed on 16th May 2018, marking the anniversary of the first successful operation of the laser by physicist Theodore Maiman in 1960. This day emphasizes the cross-disciplinary nature of light science and its applications, encouraging collaboration between scientists, engineers, artists, and other professionals. Through a series of events, exhibitions, and initiatives, the International Day of Light brings together experts and enthusiasts from across the globe to engage in conversations and activities that demonstrate the significance and impact of light on our lives.

In order to partake in the celebration of the International Day of Light, India joins numerous other countries in organizing events that promote the knowledge, understanding, and appreciation of light. These events serve as a platform for fostering partnerships between academia, industry, and decision-makers, helping to create an environment in which innovative, light-based technologies can thrive. Every year, on the 16th of May, Indians are invited to immerse themselves in this illuminating experience and contribute to harnessing the boundless potential of light.

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International Day of Light facts

  • Light travels in a straight line. If objects are in its path, they will cause the light to bend or refract.
  • The speed of light is 186,282 miles or 299,792 km per second.
  • Radiant light can be produced through various processes, such as incandescence (light resulting from heat), fluorescence (light emitted by a substance when it absorbs light or other electromagnetic radiation), chemiluminescence (light from a chemical reaction), and bioluminescence (light produced by a living organism).
  • India has a coastline of more than 7500 km and has been using lighthouses for navigation and maritime safety for centuries. Some of the oldest lighthouses in India, like the Mahabalipuram Lighthouse (built in 640 AD), are still in use today.
  • Ayurveda, the ancient Indian medical system, recognizes the importance of light in the form of sun rays and fire for maintaining health and wellbeing. It prescribes light therapy (heliotherapy) and chromotherapy (color therapy) for treating various disorders.

Top things to do in India for International Day of Light

  • Discover events near you. UNESCO hosts activities and events for people of all ages and backgrounds. They participate globally so that everyone around the world can gain an appreciation for the central role of light in science and culture.
  • Stay informed about upcoming news. UNESCO periodically releases news about scientific progress involving light technology.

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