Light and Life- An embedded truth
"Light gives of itself freely, filling all available space. It does not seek anything in return; it asks not whether you are friend or foe. It gives of itself and is not thereby diminished." —Michael Strassfeld
"The International Year of Light and Light -based Technologies, 2015 (IYL 2015) is a United Nations observance that aims to raise awareness of the achievements of light science and its applications, and its importance to humankind. "
Life and light have been in existence ever since the creation of the Earth.
Sun is the source of light, life and energy. It's very existence contributed to the cosmic creation of the earth, ocean and life; the biological life is directly linked to the day to day existence of light. The scientists, historians and philosophers of science recorded studies on the theories of light as a Major subject in Science, specially in Physics, Mathematics, Astronomy and Bioscience.
In modern times, the direct application of light in optical science, technology, agriculture, medical technology and in the communication world has changed the dimensions of the modern world's present and future vision.
The historical knowledge, the early and modern theoretical paradigm shifts and theoretical progresses on studies and research on light, are very significant; the global exchanges of knowledge on the subject of light among the ancient scholars and various geographical regions were historically recorded on which the great foundations of the modern scientific studies on light was initiated, especially in Europe in the seventeenth century by Isaac Newton.
"The focus of IYL2015 is to promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world and celebrate significant scientific anniversaries occurring in 2015. Through IYL2015, the United Nations recognises the importance of raising global awareness of how light-based technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture and health"
"The International Year of Light is "a global initiative adopted by the United Nations to raise awareness of how optical technologies promote sustainable development and provide solutions to worldwide challenges in energy, education, agriculture, communications and health."
Remembrance of the great soul and pioneer scientist-Ibn- Al-Haytham-on-studies and experiment on light is very significant here:
"The year 2015 marks the 1000th anniversary since the appearance of the remarkable seven volume treatise on optics Kitab al-Manazir written by the Arab scientist Ibn al-Haytham. Born around a thousand years ago in present day Iraq, Al-Hasan Ibn al-Haytham (known in the West by the Latinised form of his first name, initially "Alhacen" and later "Alhazen") was a pioneering scientific thinker who made important contributions to the understanding of vision, optics and light. "
Fundamental levels of contributions by light-- Light is fundamental to the existence of life through Photosynthesis and through applications of light as photonics in Medicine, communications (optical fiber) , entertainment and culture. Light and photonics are going to be the technology of the Future.
Photonics is the science and technology of generating, controlling and detecting photons, which are particles of light. It contributes technologies to daily life from internet, smart phones and laptops to the medical instruments and lighting displaying technologies.
The 21st century will depend immensely on the photonics and its present impact on the world which is diversified and extending day to day.
Notable Indian ancient scientists on astronomy and light are-Lagadha(Ist millennium BC), Aryabhata(5th century CE), Brahmagupta, Varaha mihira, Lalla,Bhaskara(I and II), Sripathi,Mahandrosuri and Milkanthan somayaja.
Western scholars on the translation and popularization of the ancient studies on light based scripts, are Ebenezer Burgess(translation of Surya Siddhanta(1860) and recent writer, Kim Plofker.
The philosophers, scientists and civilizations have never failed to reciprocate its gratitude to the blessings sun has bestowed upon the world with light as a natural object. Thousands of hymns and songs have been written, dedicated and inscribed to the glory of sun since the beginning of civilisation. Contribution of light to our life is universal ever since the cosmic creation of the earth-when sun was the most responsible, physical, central and rational factor to the creation of earth and life on it.
"A particle of its bliss
supplies the bliss of the whole universe.
Everything becomes enlightened in Its light."
The author is an engineer by profession and Fellow of the Royal Gegraphical Society, London.