Light and Dark Matters: Harnessing Light

From gas lamps to LEDs and medical lasers, a panel of artists, scientists and theorists asks what role light plays in the discovery of new frontiers in art, design, technology and medicine? With artists Roger Hiorns and Flow Motion, professor and engineer Harald Hass and professor of physics Kishan Dholakia. This event will be chaired by Sean Cubitt. […]

Light and Dark Matters: Are we darkened by light?

Human history has been a quest to light the dark, but today most of humanity spends more time bathed in electronic light than our primary source: the sun. What different forms of light are we exposed to, and can we ever switch off? A panel of artists, scientists and architects examine our contemporary urban experiences of […]

Light and Dark Matters: Black Light with the drawing shed

What does society keep in the dark, and how can it be illuminated? Labern&Lloyd of the Drawing Shed, working here as The Light Collectors, collaborate with scientists hosted by The Institute of Physics. Together they invite you to engage in an afternoon of Black Light, with open conversation and research. Framed by an installation drawn from […]

Light and Dark Matters: Instagram Light Project with Oliver Lang

How does light transform through photography? Mobile photography has become a global medium and an established form of visual communication. In the lead up to Light and Dark Matters, Oliver Lang invites you and your mobile phone camera to capture the transformational effects of light and share them on Instagram. In a special event, a selection […]

Light and Dark Matters: The Power of Light

How does light help us understand space and time? How does it shape our material world and how do we shape light through technology, architecture, art and design? Robbert Dijkgraaf, Director and Leon Levy Professor at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton and internationally acclaimed artist Liliane Lijn discuss the power of light, its transformative and […]

Bacteria Light Lab

Enter into the Bacteria Light Lab. Bask in the light of bioluminescent bacteria, learn about the quantum effects of light in whole-genome sequencing, investigate historical heliotherapy and modern cutting-edge laser light treatments to combat infection, create your own light-reactive bacteria ‘pet’, and vote in a bacteria beauty contest.

Science Showoff: International Year of the Light

Science Showoff, the chaotic science cabaret night has joined up with the International Year of Light to bring you a whole evening of fun-packed science performance with light in it. Well, most of you will be using your eyes to see the performances so light will be involved.

The oldest light in the universe

In the International Year of Light, join astrophysicist Roberto Trotta to discover what the oldest light in the cosmos, the luminous echo of the Big Bang itself, can tell us about the fundamental nature of the Universe

The World’s Got Rhythm, Circadian Rhythm

Circadian rhythms run the biological world like clockwork. Madeleine Hurry explains how they work, from the genes in a bacterium to the human brain

Invisibility cloaking – hiding a whole new world

The idea of invisibility cloaking – being able to hide things from view – has been a point of interest to humans for thousands of years. Plato wrote in The Republic about The Ring of Gyges which allowed the wearer to become invisible. Within nature there are many different species of creatures that have evolved […]

5 Space Breakthroughs of 2011

With the New Year comes the inevitable question of resolutions – how will you better yourself in 2012? The familiar answers of getting fit, losing weight, saving money and the like are a bit jaded, although surprisingly resolutions have been proven to make a huge difference to how we accomplish our desired goals. With this […]

Light Conversation

Harald Haas and his team from the University of Edinburgh have invented what he calls “speaking light”. In a TED talk on 15 July, Haas demonstrated the wireless transmission of HD video via a rapidly blinking desk lamp. The trick involves quickly modulating the intensity of “high-brightness” LEDs, allowing binary-encoded data to be sent to […]

A world bubbling over with bubbles

The most recent financial crisis caused by the housing bubble, which popped as subprime mortgages in the US and many Western European countries defaulted, has been having dramatic consequences in many aspects of Western Europe and US economies such as high rate of unemployment and economical policies based on ”cut if you can”. Stock market […]

Antarctic reveals lightning space whistles

Take yourself into the middle of nowhere and hold a radio receiver to the sky.  Above the snapcracklepop of static, you might just be lucky enough to catch a whistler. Sounding like weaponry from an early sci-fi film, whistlers are the remnants of lightning strikes that have travelled tens of thousands of miles through space […]

Top 5 Unseen Weapons

5. The ultrasound gun The sonic devastator Imagine the sound of fingernails scraping down a blackboard, then amplify it to 130 decibels (which is equivalent to a jet plane taking off) and you begin to understand how the Sonic Devastator got its name. Designed for riot control, the hand-held gun’s design restricts its beam to […]