Celebrating LightDay 2022

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The International Day of Light, observed annually on 16 May, is a unique opportunity to celebrate the incredible ways that light science impacts people’s lives. To commemorate this important day, OPN has put together several stories from this year that showcase how light science is driving advances across applications in sustainable development, clean energy, health care, communications infrastructure, astronomy, cultural preservation and more.


    Checking In with the GEMM Initiative

    OPN talks with three scientists involved in an Optica-led effort that puts optical sensors to work in the battle against both local pollution and global climate change.

    [01 April 2022]

    On the Threshold of Discovery

    OPN talked with Optica Honorary Member and Nobel laureate John Mather about the Webb Space Telescope’s deployment—and what an extended mission timeline might enable.

    [01 March 2022]
    Research News

    Terahertz Imaging Reveals Long-Buried Inscription

    Noninvasive technique reveals the New Testament “Lord’s Prayer” on a corroded lead funerary cross from 16th century France.

    [05 May 2022]
    Research News

    Combating Counterfeit Medications with Edible Fluorescent Tags

    Using fluorescent silk from genetically modified silkworms, researchers create smartphone-readable tags for use in authenticating medications at the point of sale or use.

    [13 April 2022]
    Research News

    Laser-Powered Weight Loss?

    A nonsurgical implant that uses a laser to kill stomach cells that make the “hunger hormone” could help obese patients lose weight.

    [07 April 2022]
    Research News

    Nighttime Power from Solar Installations

    Addition of a low-cost thermo-electric generator could allow photovoltaic systems to provide electricity at night, without battery storage, by harvesting Earth’s radiant heat after sunset.

    [05 April 2022]
    Research News

    Stretchable LEDs for a Seamlessly Integrated Wearable Display

    Researchers combine a light-emitting polymer with polyurethane to create a stretchable, flexible all-polymer LED with high brightness.

    [31 March 2022]
    Research News

    Miniscope Opens a Window Into the Brain

    A lightweight two-photon microscope for large-scale calcium imaging simultaneously records the activity of thousands of neurons in freely moving mice, allowing for more detailed brain mapping.

    [24 March 2022]
    Research News

    Flat Lenses Improve Glasses-Free 3D Display

    Researchers build a prototype vector light-field display that can reconstruct a 3D virtual image at extended viewing distances.

    [17 March 2022]
    Research News

    Better Breast Cancer Diagnosis, via Deep Learning

    Algorithm combines spectral and structural information in a few seconds, potentially aiding breast cancer screening.

    [02 March 2022]

    Optical Fiber: Through the Looking Glass

    The UN International Year of Glass, celebrated throughout 2022, offers an opportunity to reflect on the enabling role of glass in fiber optics—and on their entangled futures.

    [01 March 2022]
    Research News

    Mapping Methane with Spaceborne Spectrometry

    Data from the TROPOMI imaging spectrometer on the Sentinel-5P satellite have enabled an inventory of the world’s biggest methane emitters—a potentially useful tool in the climate fight.

    [07 February 2022]
    Research News

    A Light-Based COVID-19 Breathalyzer

    Prototype device that employs surface-enhanced Raman scattering reportedly obtains results with greater than 95% accuracy—in less than five minutes.

    [05 February 2022]
    Research News

    A Key Step Toward Hydrogen Fusion

    Researchers achieved plasma burning by focusing powerful lasers on a tiny cavity.

    [02 February 2022]
    Research News

    Imaging Biological Cells from the Inside

    A method for creating a microlens from a lipid droplet inside a live cell allows imaging and tracking of intra- and extracellular structures in real time.

    [06 January 2022]

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