International Year of Light 2015

Credit: Giovanna Rasario, Luce d'acqua, 2009, olio su tela,

Società Italiana di Fisica ICTP EPS SIOF SAIt SILS AIF

IYL2015 Secretariat
IYL2015 website
IYL2015 EPS website & EPS news

On the occasion of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies in 2015 (IYL2015), the Italian Physical Society (SIF) is acting as "contact hub" for a number of national learned societies: Astronomical Society SAIt, Optics and Photonics Society SIOF, Synchrotron Light Society SILS, Physics Teachers Society AIF, History of Science Societies SISS and SISFA, etc. and of national research institutions: INFN, INAF, ASI, LENS, INRIM, CNR, INGV, Centro Fermi and others.

SIF is a Golden Associate of the IYL2015.


Italian Opening Ceremony

Italian International Year of Light 2015 Calendar

January February March April May June
July August September October November December

International Year of Light 2015 News

IYL2015 Closing Ceremony to be held in Mexico on 4-6 February 2016
The International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies 2015 (IYL 2015) will be brought to an official close with a ceremony to be held over three days from 4-6 February 2016 in the beautiful city of Mérida, Mexico, which is close to the Mayan Archaeological Site of Chichen Itza and one of the earliest astronomical observatories El Caracol. This final event of the IYL 2015 global celebration will be attended by the key figures behind the international year, including academics, international diplomats and decision-makers, CEOs, and science and industry leaders from across the globe.
More information: here.
January 12, 2016

Mille e una notte di scienza
During the night of European Researchers at the National Museum of Science and Technology in Milan, Matteo Ferroni spoke live on Rai Radio 3 Science. The podcast interview: here.
October 8, 2015

Brixia Light Box
Brixia Light Box is a virtual excursion in the ancient city of Brescia. Preserved in the ground under Palazzo Martinengo Cesaresco, built in 1663 at the junction between the decumanus of the ancient Roman town and the forum (Piazza del Foro), are structures that bear witness to the site’s nearly three-thousand-year-long history. In one of the building’s large rooms, corresponding to an ancient shop that opened onto the forum, a full-immersion multimedia experience called Brixia Light Box – inspired by the International Year of Light – has been installed. By projecting images onto the wall a virtual opening is created, as though a magic door had been opened, enveloping the viewer in the ancient building and its surroundings just as they were during the Roman Empire. More information: here.
July 20, 2015

Competition Urban Lightscape
AIDI (Associazione Italiana di Illuminazione) organizes the Intermnational Contest “Urban Lightscape – Paesaggi della città contemporanea: la luce come elemento di connessione tra passato presente e futuro” with the aim to enhance the value of the EUR district in Rome. The EUR was built for the 1942 for the World’s Fair which, due to the war, never actually took place. Today it represents an outdoor museum of 1930s architecture, to which new structures and services have been added over the years. This highlights its potential role as the city’s “contest platform”.
The objective of the contest is be to develop an overall design concept for a lighting system to be used in public, artistic and environmental domains. The lighting system should preferably use smart city technologies oriented towards the promotion of its territory, architectural heritage and cultural/commercial activities.
Deadline: Friday 25 September 2015.
More information: here.
June 16, 2015

Alla velocità della luce
The Gruppo Caronte organizes a series of concerts in June, July and August to celebrate Light and talk about darkness, stars and the sky. Some of the concerts will take place at the break of dawn, giving the audience the opportunity to watch together the rising sun. For more information about the concerts, please see the Calendar here above.
More information: here.
June 16, 2015

New Light Old Ideas
The students of Liceo Don Carlo La Mura, Angri (SA), will take part in the international webinar "New Light Old Ideas" with students from Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, USA, The Netherlands, Switzerland for IYL 2015. Italian students will deal with Galileo Galilei and classic relativity. The event is organized by Vigo University.
More information: here.
April 10, 2015

Luci sullo stretto – the IYL in Messina
"Luci sullo stretto" is a series of conferences on various aspects of Light, dealing with Science, Philosophy, Arts, on the occassion of the UNESCO International Year of Light 2015. The event is organized by the Municipality and the University of Messina. The conferences will take place on March 30th, April 13th and April 20th at Palacultura, Messina.
See the programme: here.
March 23, 2015

IYL2015 at CERN
On the occasion of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies, CERN is taking the opportunity to communicate about the High Luminosity LHC project and CERN’s involvement in the SESAME synchrotron project in Jordan. Several events have been planned in the next few months, a list of the upcoming and past events can be found here:
March 11, 2015

Indiscienza: Quo Lux Ducit
Indiscienza is organizing the series of conferences "QUO LUX DUCIT", to be held in Pavia, at the Collegio Ghislieri, from April 14th to May 5th. For more details please see the Italian International Year of Light 2015 Calendar on this page.
Contact: Elisabetta Vesconi,
Full programme: here.
March 10, 2015

IYL2015 Opening Ceremony in Morocco
On February 26th the Opening Ceremony of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) in Morocco took place in Rabat, at the University of Sciences of Rabat. In addition to the participation of researchers, students, institutional partners and journalists, the main audience of this ceremony was children and teenagers, largely represented by student associations, astronomy clubs and UNESCO’s associated schools, amounting to a total of 300 attendees.
Further information: here.
March 6, 2015

Opening Ceremony of the International Year of Light 2015 in Spain
On February 16th the Opening Ceremony of the International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies (IYL 2015) in Spain took place in Barcelona, at the Poliorama Theatre of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona, with the participation of 500 attendees.
Further information: here.
March 5, 2015

IYL2015 at Sapienza Università di Roma
The University of Rome Sapienza is organising a series of events to celebrate the International Year of Light 2015. Further information can be found on this webpage.
March 4, 2015

International Year of Light 2015 launch events in the UK
The United Kingdom has celebrated the start of the International Year of Light with a UK-wide launch which took place in the historic St James’s Palace in London on 28 January and was followed by events in Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland on February.
More information: here.
March 3, 2015

“Light in Astronomy" open week, 8-14 November 2015: a pilot project for the IYL2015
The basic aim of the activities planned by INAF-SAIt for an open week dedicated to "Light in Astronomy", is to explain and clarify fundamental concepts such as: Light is not only what we see; Light carries energy (heat) through space; Light brings us the footprints of the matter emitting it (in astronomy.. but not only); Different species of light are differently absorbed by matter; Light hits our eyes but the radiation of the whole electromagnetic spectrum interacts with our whole body; Light opens our minds to the universe (in astronomy, but also, and maybe even more, in any interdisciplinary fields).
During this “open week" laboratories, lectures and public encounters will take place in many different cities, taking advantage of the distribution of the Italian astronomical structures (Observatories, Universities, etc.). Different levels of activities and events will be prepared for different age/quality target-groups. INAF-SAIt is also promoting the collaboration with schools, cultural institutions, foundations, associations, public and private administrations.
The web site of the event will show a detailed description of each event, including target age-group, scientific and didactic aims, etc.
Activities are planned in Bologna, Milano, Torino, Padova, Trieste, Firenze, Roma, Napoli, Teramo, Palermo, Cagliari.
More information: here.
February 26, 2015
The committee has launched the website This web site is associated with the facebook group that has the same name.
January 30, 2015

Let the International Year of Light begin
The article "Let the International Year of Light begin" by Prof. Luisa Cifarelli has been published on in the day of the Opening Ceremony of the IYL in Paris (19 January 2015). Reed the article here.
January 19, 2015

Celebrate The International Year of Light in 2015 with SPIE
The International Year of Light team at SPIE in the USA created a short video that provides a great introduction to IYL. It is available in three languages: English, Spanish and French.
January 16, 2015

The German Physical Society for the YIL2015
The German Physical Society has launched a special website including an event calendar of German activities concerning the International Year of Light 2015:
January 13, 2015

M'illumino di meno
"M'illumino di meno" is the Energy Saving Awareness and Campaign launched by the daily talk show broadcast Caterpillar (RAI Radio 2). The event, come at its 11th edition, consists in a one month-long radio campaign culminating in the Energy Saving Day, which will be celebrated on February 13th, 2015. Everybody is asked for reducing to the minimum their own private energy use during the radio show time or, if possible, to switch on a "clean" light coming from renewable sources.
The most visible effect is assured by the symbolic "turning off" of the most important monuments and city squares, united in a sort of “energy silence”. Citizens, companies, shop-owners, schools and any other kind of association will participate in their own personal, convenient and creative way turning off shop-windows and computers, organizing candlelight dinners etc ...
The Energy Saving Day meaning is not focused on sacrifice, but on sharing a joyful pride celebration of innovation and intelligent consumption.
During the 4 weeks leading to the event Day, the radio show will be focused on best practices about energy efficiency and sustainable sources use all around the world, explaining what we can do and how we can really change our routine energy habits in order to reduce wastes.
More information: here or .
December 11, 2014

ENEA (Italian National Agency for new technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development) and CNR (National Research Council) announce the LIGHT SCHOOL contest, which is addressed to students of primary, intermediate and high schools of regione Lazio. Participants need to register online within 31 March 2015. The LIGHT Posters can be submitted within 14 April 2015.
More information: here.
December 10, 2014

Light and Energy throughout History
The Italian Group for the History of Solar Energy (GSES) is planning a series of events for the year 2015 in order to widespread the culture of solar energy tracing back the history of the use of Sun’s light and energy by the ancient civilizations, with particular reference to those living in the Mediterranean Basin. The 2015 program includes events at universities, schools, museums, research centers and cultural and environmental associations.
GSES is available to provide materials for exhibitions and screenings as well as organize seminars and conferences throughout the year.
More information: here or write to
December 9, 2014

X Edtion of the Contest "ScienzaPerTutti"
The National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) announces the tenth edition of the Contest ScienzaPerTutti. It is addressed to students and teachers of secondary schools for the creation of a work (textual, graphical or multimedia) on the theme: "The Light".
The projects, in Italian or in English, should illustrate a topic related to the theme of the competition in an easy way, accessible to a non-expert audience. Applicants will have, as usual, freedom of expression in the submission of papers, drawings, photos or videos.
Both individual students or groups of students of the same class, led by their teacher, can apply.
Application forms are available here and must be submitted not later than 31 January 2015. The works must be delivered within 16 March 2015.
More information are available here.
December 2, 2014

Luce & Futuro
"Luce & Futuro" is a seminar organized in Naples (Area della Ricerca del CNR) by IMM-CNR on December 1st, 2014. The event aims at discussing topics related to technologies and light in view of next year that was declared by the United Nations "International Year of Light and Light-based Technologies".
The two morning sessions will focus on light and nanoelectronics, light and nanomedicine, light and nutrition, light and telecommunications and light and environment. In the afternoon, three round tables will be held on "Aerospace and ICT", "Biomedicine" and "Synergies between EPR and Universities in Campania".
The porgramme is available here.
December 1, 2014

Coni di luce: Alberobello Light Festival
"Alberobello Light Festival" is the first International festival of lights in Puglia in the wonderful natural scenario of the Trulli of Alberobello, Unesco World Heritage. At Christmas time, the powerful magic of light will enhance the play of the Trulli during Alberobello Light Festival. For thirty days from 07/12/14 to 07/01/15 it will be possible to explore an enchanted town and to delve into its artistically illuminated spectacular little streets. Spectacular videomapping projections onto the Unesco World Heritage hystorical limestone dwellings will transform this purely visual experience into an "interactive experience" giving the audience the possibility to create their own work of art and watch it appear on the monument. This aspect would allow the public to "share" symbols and culture of Alberobello: a "magical" experience, innovative and truly enchanting. Please visit the event website.
November 3, 2014

Photonics technologies are everywhere!
Photonics technologies are amazing, fascinating, and you find them everywhere: in communication, entertainment, medical, manufacturing, automotive, energy, lighting, agriculture, photovoltaic, security, art, … Whether you are looking for a new career, a student that needs to make a choice for your studies, if you are a financial investor or a politician that influences policies, think PHOTONICS !
Watch the video "What is photonics?" by Carlos Lee, Director General of EPIC (European Photonics Industry Consortium) on youtube.
October 16, 2014

ICT Key Enabling Technologies at the Service of European Citizens and Cities
A two-days event, focused on sharing experience on ICT Key Enabling Technologies at the Service of European Citizens and LED Lighting for Smart Cities, will be held in Rome on 29-30 October 2014. It is a European high-level event under the Italian EU Presidency, co-organised by Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR), and the European Commission DG CONNECT Photonics.
More information here.
October 15, 2014

Day of Photonics
DAY OF PHOTONICS is an annual event that promotes “photonics” towards the general public. On 21 October 1983, the General Conference of Weights And Measures adopted the value of 299,792.458 km/s for the speed of light. At the occasion of the anniversary, over 100 activities will be organized over more than 20 countries in the world and encompass all kinds of demonstrations and discussions on the impact of photonics on our day-to-day life. Any company, research organization, university, school, student chapter is welcome to organize an activity.
For more information visit the event web site.
September 30, 2014

A Facebook Group for IYL2015
A Facebook Group has been opened to inform and comment on the events planned to celebrate the International Year of Light in 2015, in particular in Italy (
Besides information and links to other events and web pages, the Group has started on August 9, 2014 to list a book a day, with the goal of completing a year of books on light. Each book, in fact, must have its title or subject related to light and optics. Registrations to the Group and book suggestions are welcome.
September 2, 2014

INAF and SAIt for IYL2015
To properly prepare for the IYL2015, the Italian Institute for Astrophysics INAF and the Italian Astronomical Society SAIt have appointed a small committee to coordinate activities focused to the promotion and visibility of the IYL2015, in particular in its applications in an astronomical context. The Italian astronomical community had taken active part in the success of the IYA2009 and INAF and SAIt have profitably built on the experience accumulated in the activities planned and proposed to the community at the time. INAF and SAIt are now ready to actively contribute to the success of the IYL2015. Both SAIt and INAF have also become Gold associate sponsors.
The committee can be reached via e-mail at the following address:
A web page that will include the local and national events is in preparation. The page will be available
August 8, 2014

Video competition AIDI “Riprenditi la città, Riprendi la luce”
AIDI (Associazione Italiana di Illuminazione) launches the 2nd edition of the international video competition “Riprenditi la città, Riprendi la luce”. This initiative aims to spread the “culture of light”, starting from the young people, to encourage the importance that this element plays in their daily lives, and to learn and understand how young people interact, just through the light, with the city where they live, study or work.
There are three main categories: “Light and places”, “Light and cinema”, “Light and music”. Participants should send a short video clip (60 seconds), which can be shot with a portable or mobile device such as: tablets, smart-phones, video camera, digital camera etc....
The opening of the contest is scheduled in early November 2014, videos should be sent within February 28, 2015.
For further information please contact or visit AIDI website.
July 30, 2014

SPIE International Year of Light photo contest
The SPIE International Year of Light photo contest is open. Works can be submitted within 30 September 2014. Photographs should show how light and light-based technologies play a vital role in our everyday lives. The contest is open to anyone not employed by SPIE with prizes from 500 to 2,500 dollars. Winning photographs will be published in SPIE Professional magazine. More information can be found here.
July 9, 2014

Congress FIAT LUX
The Congress FIAT LUX will be organized in Rome. It is a multidisciplinary event addressed to both the scientific-technological world and the philosophical and theological one. FIAT LUX is inserted among the activities of UNESCO for the IYL-2015.
July 3, 2014

An exhibition dedicated to Macedonio Melloni
The University of Parma is planning to organize an exhibition dedicated to the life and work of Macedonio Melloni, physicist and patriot. It will be a travelling exhibition with the aim of showing Melloni's real historical scientific instruments and their modern reproductions (functional and interactive experiments). A section of the exhibition will show the phenomena originated from his pioneering experiments.
July 3, 2014

The Italian IEEE Photonic Chapter
The Italian IEEE Photonic Chapter, based in Parma, has expressed the wish to collaborate to the IYL2015 Italian events.
July 3, 2014