Light Beyond the Bulb

The glow of a candle, the rise of the Sun, and the illumination of a lamp are things that can bring comfort and warmth to our lives. Humans are, after all, drawn to light. But there is more to light, quite literally, than meets the eye. Light takes on many forms - from radio waves to microwaves to X-rays and more -- that are largely invisible and undetectable without modern technology. Light in all of its forms allows us to communicate, entertain, explore, and understand the world we inhabit and the Universe we live in. This exhibit shows you some examples of the myriad of wonderful things that light can do, and how it plays a critical role in our lives every day.

In proclaiming an International Year focusing on the topic of light science and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness about how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health. Light plays a vital role in our daily lives and is an imperative cross-cutting discipline of science in the 21st century. It has revolutionized medicine, opened up international communication via the Internet, and continues to be central to linking cultural, economic and political aspects of the global society.

Light: Beyond the Bulb is an open-source international exhibition program for the International Year of Light to showcase the incredible variety of light-based science being researched today across the electro-magnetic spectrum, across scientific disciplines, and across technological platforms. The exhibit materials and striking images would be crowd-sourced and then expert-curated for science content, high-quality printability, stunning beauty and ability to engage the greater public. Based on an award-winning "proof of concept" platform "From Earth to the Universe" from the International Year of Astronomy 2009, Light: Beyond the Bulb could offer wide international reach, high visibility and improved public awareness on the science of light.

In delivering these images and the science behind them for host organizers to utilize in traditional and non-traditional science outreach locations, Light: Beyond the Bulb intends to engage a wide audience, including individuals who might not heavily identify with science. This project will start with the creation of an online repository of high quality, easy to reproduce science images of light and their respective captions that help tell an interesting and relevant story about the science of light. The online repository will be the first step towards setting up image exhibitions throughout IYL2015 in different geographical locations, including the opening ceremonies at UNESCO in Paris and an airport exhibit for San Francisco, among others.

-Participate in a global collaboration for a high-quality, cross-cutting science of light image exhibition to be shown around the world
-Be part of a large, free-use initiative for the International Year of Light celebrations with grassroot resources
-Take advantage of local resources and knowledge to do the footwork to get the exhibitions off the ground
-and more ...

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-If you are interested in hosting a Light: Beyond the Bulb exhibit, please see our exhibit guide page.

"Light: Beyond the Bulb" was developed by the Chandra X-ray Center (CXC), at the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (SAO), in Cambridge, Massachusetts with major support and funding from SPIE (the international society for optics and photonics), and also the International Astronomical Union.

Principal Investigator: Kimberly Arcand, Chandra
Science Writer: Megan Watzke, Chandra
Science Editor: Wallace Tucker, Chandra
Designer: Melissa Weiss, Chandra
Contributor: Allison Romanyshyn, SPIE
and with the support of many others!
German translation: Roger Bruederlin

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