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Online & Virtual Events for IDL2020

Although many activities that have been planned for the International Day of Light 2020 on May 16 will no longer be able to take place as scheduled, there is no reason we can’t celebrate virtually. Browse the following online activities that you can participate in below or discover the complete events list here.

International Day of Light Secretariat: Public Call for Photos and Videos
Let’s build some momentum and excitement for the annual International Day of Light on May 16th with photos and videos:

  •  We invite our network to post on social media using #IDL2020 and #SeeTheLight with images that capture how light influences our lives in the broadest sense.

  • We invite you to submit a video that showcases how you study, celebrate and/or enjoy light. The International Day of Light Secretariat will select videos to be shared on the official IDL social media pages on 16 May. Videos must be no longer than 1 minute and be submitted through this form by 14 May.

Learn more about these initiatives on this page.

Science Speaks and Cares

  • May 16 2020: Members of "Science SPEAK & CARES association" will light lamps with family members in their home. Then there will be online discussion meeting (Zoom),about different types of LASERs and their applications.Dr.Sumithran and Dr.Rajeev Palpu will be the main guests.

  • August 16 2020 : Various Competitions for school and College Students: Topic is Manifestation of light --- from horror and wonders to Scientific inquisitiveness & LASERS, including: Poster presentation, powerpoint presentation, Quiz and Essay writing.

  • November 1 2020: Valedictory function IDL2020 & Prize distribution: Invited talks on

    • (i) Impact of colours upon mind & body by Sri.Athul Ramesh.

    • (ii)Applications of Lasers in medicine by Dr.Rajeev Palpu

Learn more here or contact Dr.Vivekanandan Paramu.

Open Lecture: Holography - for its correct understanding
Republic of Korea - by The Korean Information Display Society
16 May 2020

​This is an open lecture by Prof. Byoungho Lee (Seoul National University) organized by the Korean Information Display Society. Holographic display is a hot topic in modern society. There is much misunderstanding on its original meaning. This lecture for general audience will explain the meaning of holography and its technologies and applications.

Learn more here or contact Prof. Byoungho Lee (Seoul National Univ.)

Open Lecture: Advancement of the Information Display and the Medicine
Republic of Korea - by The Korean Information Display Society
16 May 2020

Open lecture by Prof. Jongmo Seo (MD, PhD; Seoul National University and SNU Hospital) organized by the Korean Information Display Society. ‘See the unseen’ revolutionized the medicine in the 20th century, and it keeps on going. The information display technology opens the new era in the healthcare. Related technologies and vision will be explained.

Learn more here or contact Prof. Byoungho Lee (Seoul National Univ.)

The Sustainable Home Darkroom - 'Cooking' with light!
United Kingdom - by The Real Photography Company
Throughout May, videos and information will be published on how to make images without a darkroom and how to make your own light sensitive materials using plant and materials found around the home.

Learn more here or contact Justin Quinnell

El Espectro Electromagnético  
Spain - by Escuela AstroLab
13-18 May 2020

Masterclass about light, electromagnetic spectrum and spectroscopy in astronomy. For elementary and high school students. 

Learn more here or contact Jose A. Jimenez

IDL2020 Discussion  
Spain - by Escuela AstroLab
15 May 2020

The speed of light measurement experiment discussion

Learn more here or contact Jose A. Jimenez

Photonics North 2020  
Canada - by Photonics North, CPIC, COPL, INO, Photonique, and IEEE
26-28 May 2020

Photonics North is an annual international conference based in Canada open to all participants.
It offers a forum and an opportunity for attendees to share and exchange views and ideas about scientific discoveries, research results, and market needs. The program will include the participation of a stellar group of invited researchers representing the latest worldwide trends in the photonic research community and in industry.
During the global pandemic due to coronavirus, we continue serving our photonics community and hosting our conference as an online virtual conference; and we continue supporting the International Day of Light.
We invite all of you to attend Photoncis North 2020, a virtual conference! 

Learn more here or contact Kexing Liu

Human Brain Mapping
Italy - by the SPIE University of Trento Student Chapter
15 May 2020

Talk by Prof. Francesco Pavone, from the University of Florence and LENS (European Laboratory for Nonlinear Spectroscopy) who will discuss high-resolution microscopy methods for the human brain mapping and applications. The event will be held online in a Zoom meeting here.

Learn more here or contact Chiara Vecchi

Worldwide - by Panthéon-Sorbonne University - Academic Impact 
16 May 2020

To send a message of thanks to essential workers, this event encourages everyone to turn the lamps and lights in their home on and off as a collaborative virtual activity to bring us together.

Learn more here or contact Yann Toma

IDeaLight Competition 2020
Belgium - by SPIE Vrije Universiteit Brussel Chapter
16 April - 16 May 2020

SPIE Vrije Univ. Brussel Chapter, student chapter of the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE) at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), will celebrate virtually the International Day of Light on 16th May in Belgium with an event “IDeaLight. competition 2020”. Everyone is welcome to participate in the competition recording and sharing light related homemade experiments.

Learn more here or contact Astghik Chalyan

From Darkness to Brightness
Armenia - by Yerevan State University, Russian-Armenian Slavonic University and The Institute for Physical Research
16 April - 16 May 2020

All five Armenian SPIE (YSU and RAU & NAS) and OSA (YSU & NAS, RAU and IPR) student chapters gather together to celebrate the International Day of Light and Laser's 60th anniversary by organizing an online workshop. 7 invited speakers will talk about optics and photonics development history, lasers and photonics applications. 

Learn more here or contact Tatevik Chalyan

IDL Photography Competition 2020
Indonesia - by Institute Teknologi Sepuluh Nopember
20 March - 16 May 2020

IDL Photography competition is an national photography contest to celebrate the day of light. The theme of the competition is "See The Light Together". Photos should demonstrate the importance of the light and its application. The winner of the competition Will be announced on 16 May 2020. 

Learn more by contacting Murti Marinah

Problem-Based Learning in Advanced Photonics Manufacturing
USA - by Springfield Technical Community College and the New England Board of Higher Education
20 March - 16 May 2020

The Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Projects ( are celebrating the International Day of Light and the 60th anniversary of the first working laser through a series of webinars and workshops from May through July, 2020. With funding from the National Science Foundation’s Advanced Technological Education program, the latest project, PBL in Advanced Photonics Manufacturing, is creating eight new multimedia online “Challenges” (case studies) with companies such as IPG Photonics, Coherent and Convergent Photonics and with the AIM Photonics Academy headquartered at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Recorded on site with engineers, scientists and technicians, problems tackled by the company or university are turned into Challenges for students to solve. Thus, students learn content, problem solving skills and teamwork through engagement with real-world problems. In early summer 2020 (dated TBD) the PBL Projects will offer two webinars to interested educators worldwide, Introduction to Photonics and Introduction to PBL. A select group of secondary and post-secondary teachers will then attend a four-day workshop at Springfield (MA) Technical Community College in July to practice the new Challenges in preparation for using them in their own classrooms in the coming academic year. The new Challenges will be added to the 20 previously developed Challenges on topics ranging from laser wire stripping to ergonomic lighting for submarines. See for more information.

Learn more here.

CSIO-OSA: See The Light Virtual Webinar Series
India - by CSIO-OSA, Student Chapter of The Optical Society (OSA)
9 - 10 May 2020

ALL-VIRTUAL WEBINAR SERIES to celebrate International Day of Light 2020 and a chance to learn about light in these extraordinary times of COVID-19. 9th May 2020, 11:00 - 12:00 PM IST: "Diffractive Optics in Optical Engineering Design, Fabrication Metrology" with Dr Gufran S. Khan, Associate Professor,SeNSE (formerly IDDC)- IIT Delhi. 10th May 2020, 5:00 - 6:00 PM IST: "Holography for 3D Imaging and display", Dr Raj Kumar, Senior Scientist, Optical Devices &Systems, CSIR-CSIO, Chandigarh Note: Registration ends 9:00 AM IST on 9th May 2020.

Learn more here or contact Lavlesh Pensia

Photography competition "Light phenomenon"
Lithuania - by Lithuanian Laser Association
4 - 16 May 2020

Photography competition "Light phenomenon" for amateurs photographers. The main theme is a light and light-based phenomenon. Online test about photonics, lasers, and light physics in one of the main online media outlet in Lithuania. 

Learn more here or by contacting Anzelika Voine

Awesome Light: Exploring the Sun and Stars Live Q&A
USA - by The Maunakea Observatories
15 May 2020

The Maunakea Observatories in Hawai’i have launched the MKO@Home initiative to support our community by providing online STEM resources for schools, teachers and families. In addition, we have been providing educational videos each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at a minimum. Topics covered include careers, the solar system, recent discoveries, arts and crafts and more. To celebrate the International Day of Light, we will be hosting a live Q&A panel on our YouTube channel ( on May 15th at 1pm HST titled “Awesome Light: Exploring the Sun and Stars Live Q&A”.  Please join in and ask your questions to our knowledgeable panel about our own Sun and the countless other stars within our universe at: 

Learn more here or by contacting Callie Matulonis

IES Virtual Research Symposium: LIGHT+ QUALITY - Meaningful Metrics Beyond Energy
Lithuania - by Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
12 - 22 May 2020

In response to the postponement of the in-person 2020 Research Symposium, the IES is pleased to announce that we are hosting a Virtual Research Symposium and registration is now open. During this time, we will leverage the technology at our disposal in order to disseminate valuable, relevant and timely content. We hope that you find this virtual symposium insightful, beneficial, and of the quality that you have come to expect from the IES. This event will be held through the IES webcasting platform and will take place over four different days in order to allow participants to attend with limited disruption during work hours. Participants viewing this entire program are eligible to receive up to 8 IES Continuing Education Units (CEUs).

Learn more here or by contacting Tim Licitra

Photo Contest: International Day of Light 2020
Spain - by School of Optics & Optometry in Terrassa - Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya
10 - 20 May 2020

We invite you to share photographs related with light through social media to celebrate this unusual International Day of Light. Follow us on Instagram (@ dil20_21terrassa) and participate!

Learn more here or by contacting Elisabet Perez

Jyotirmoy Quiz Competition
India - by SPIE CSIO Chandigarh Student Chapter
27 April - 16 May 2020

The SPIE CSIO Chandigarh Student Chapter is contributing in celebration of #IDL2020 by organizing "Jyotirmoy" under which the Quiz Competition is holding on the theme of "Fundamentals and Applications of Light". This informative quiz is conduct to test the knowledge on fundamentals and applications of light with the aim to raise awareness and spread science of light by exploring phenomenon of optics and photonics. Photography Contest is the another event under "Jyotirmoy" on the theme of "The optical phenomena of light in our daily life". The goal of Photography contest is to raise public awareness about the International Day of Light and the vital role light and related technology plays in our daily lives.

Learn more here or by contacting Keshav Samrat Modi

International Day of Light 2020: Quiz & Competition
India - by SPIE IITB Student Chapter
5 - 16 May 2020

1. Online quiz competition - Fundamentals of light Last date for registration: 10th May 2020 Quiz date: 16th May 2020 2. Video or write-up contest (you can send a video of yours for about 30 seconds to 1 minute or write-up in about 200 words on any of the following themes) Theme 1: Life during the lockdown Theme 2: Importance of light and IDL Deadline in 10 May 2020.

Learn more here or by contacting Madhuri Mishra

International day of Light from Arcetri
Italy - by CNR-INO National Institute of Optics
15 May 2020

Starting from the wonderful "villa il Gioiello" where Galileo spent his last years, we will have online talks from Osservatorio di Merate, from Telescopio Nazionale Galileo di La Palma, Canarie, from Volta Fondation in Como, from CNR communication office, speaking about the beauty of light

Learn more here or by contacting Alessandro Farini

Paint With Light
India - by CSIO-OSA
6 - 16 May 2020

CSIO-OSA, student chapter of The Optical Society (OSA), presents PAINT WITH LIGHT, a drawing competition to celebrate International Day of Light 2020. Open to all. Only Hand-made drawings which focus on Light will be accepted. MAX FILE SIZE: 10MB FREE REGISTRATION AT: Submission Deadlin = 12 May

Learn more here or by contacting Lavlesh Pensia

International Day of Light- Celebrate with Plants
United Kingdom - by Real Photography Company
1 - 31 May 2020

The Real Photography Company invites you to celebrate the International Day of Light this year in lockdown by making Anthotypes; experimenting with plants and kitchen cabinet items to create light sensitive materials in a variety of colours. Coloured plant juices are extracted from various plants and coated onto paper which is dried, and then materials placed on top to create a pattern. This is exposed in bright sunlight to create unique one-off vegetable based images. 

Learn more here or by contacting Ruth Jacobs

UAE - by IAU Dark Skies Ambassador
15 May 2020

During this webinar we will talk about improving the public understanding of how light and light-based technologies touch the daily lives of everybody, and are central to the future development of the global society.
Advancement in the quality of lights in United Arab Emirates .Raise awareness that technologies and design can play an important role in the achievement of greater energy efficiency, in particular by limiting energy waste, and in the reduction of light pollution, which is key to the preservation of dark skies. TIME : 1500Hrs to 1540Hrs United Arab Emirates Standard Time (UTC+04:00)

Learn more here or by contacting Muhammad Rayan Khan

Future Space Explorations- virtual meetup with Dr. Sona Hosseini, JPL
Pakistan - by School of Astronomy and Physics by Mirwat Uzair
16 May 2020

On the event of "International Day of Light", the high school girl students (Islamabad, Pakistan) will have a virtual meetup with Dr. Sona Hosseini who is a Research and Instrument Scientist at Planetary Science Division, Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Dr. Hosseini will be discussing 'what is next for Space exploration'; exoplanets and what possibilities are there for High School female students to participate in the frontiers of space science! 

Learn more here or by contacting Mirwat Shamshad


Wikipedia Edit-A-Thon
Worldwide - by The Optical Society (OSA) and IEEE Photonics Society
10 May 2020

Time: 11:00 - 13:00 Eastern Time. During this event you will learn how to be a Wikipedia editor — or hone your skills if you already are one — and join others around the world as we edit, update or add articles on Wikipedia. Alice White, a Digital Editor and Wikimedian-in-Residence at the Wellcome Trust and Lia Li, Royal Academy of Engineering Fellow at University College London, will be on hand to provide guidance and assistance to all new Wikipedia Editors. Our goal is to help reduce the gender gap in the 5th most visited website in the world and get the Women of Optics the pages they deserve.

Learn more here or by contacting Marcia Lesky

CLEO: Laser Science to Photonic Applications
Worldwide - by APS, IEEE Photonics Society, OSA
11 - 15 May 2020

Virtual Conference: CLEO is the world’s premier international forum to learn about innovative advances, research and new technologies from the laser science industry. With technical sessions, special symposia, tutorials, short courses, professional advancement courses, business programming, workshops, and more, CLEO highlights the latest research, applications and market-ready technologies in all areas of lasers and photonics. 

Learn more here or by contacting Paul Cutting

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