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Celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the Laser in 2020 with IDL!
In addition to the #SeeTheLight campaign, a second key theme for the 2020 International Day of Light is the celebration of the 60th anniversary since the first operation of the laser. Indeed, it was on the 16 May 1960 that Ted Maiman fired the first laser at Hughes Research Laboratories, and the laser has since created multiple revolutions in science and technology that have changed the world. Enthusiasm is rapidly building amongst the scientific community to celebrate this anniversary, and the IDL community is mobilizing to encourage laser-themed events worldwide throughout 2020.
Worldwide laser celebrations kicked off in Paris with a special one-day conference on 7 January. Organized by the French Federation of Scientific Societies F2S, the event brought together science and industry leaders to review the many innovations that have resulted from laser science, and to raise awareness of the need for future investment in research, technology and education. The conference was inaugurated with a lecture from French Nobel laureate Gerard Mourou (pictured below), and followed by talks covering areas from laser history to future perspectives in quantum technologies. It is expected that that event in Paris was only the beginning and many similar conferences will be held throughout France during 2020.
In India, special laser-related activities are being planned as part of IDL in May 2020, including a Workshop on the "Laser and Its Applications”, a live TV show for hundreds of school children with their queries on Light and Lasers to be telecasted, and written material and books on "Light" and "Lasers" in regional languages. A special session on lasers is also planned during the National Urdu Science Congress 2020. Other laser celebrations are being planned during conferences throughout 2020, and you can follow plans on the IDL event calendar here.
We encourage all those interested in celebrating the laser anniversary to regularly check the IDL website for updates and resources. IDL Steering Committee member SPIE has already placed a number of laser-related resources online, including a special logo that will be free to use together with the IDL logo by all partners organizing a laser-related event. And note that association with the International Day of Light and promotion on the events calendar will be possible for all laser-related events taking place at any time during 2020.
Many other IDL partners will be preparing resources and making them available in the coming months, and a series of free-to-use slides on laser history are being prepared. Stay tuned for more updates about the various laser-related activities and celebrations as part of the 2020 International Day of Light.