IDL 2019 Image Contest Winners

Thank you to all the entrants in our International Day of Light 2019 Image Contest. All the submitted entries can be viewed here. The winners were as follows:

1st: Adolfo De Sanctis – Fiat Lux


“Let there be light: and there was light” [Genesis 1:3]. In 1879 Thomas Alva Edison demonstrates the first working modern light bulb. Since then the design has not changed much until the invention of the light-emitting diode. In this composite image I wanted to de-construct a working light bulb to honour one of the greatest inventions of all times. Electrical lighting enabled the industrial revolution and the development of society. On the other hand, light pollution is destroying the night sky and energy production is polluting the planet. It is now time for a new, green, revolution.


2nd:Danielle Owens – Sunset at the Lighthouse


The image portrays the stability of lighthouses which provide continual light despite the cyclical shift in tide and weather. The image emphasises the shelter constant man-made light provides against the looming darkness.


3rd: Charlotte Parry – Crystalline Conversion


This image features a lithium niobate crystal, which has interesting optical properties, and is the centrepiece of my current work in quantum optics. It is being used to convert light energy between wavelengths, from red in the visible spectrum to the infra-red spectrum that is invisible to the naked eye (and this camera). This could become an important component in the field of quantum communications which could provide a more secure means of communication throughout the world. The laser light reflects off imperfections in the crystal to make it seem as though the whole crystal is glowing in its mount.



IDL 2019 Poster Competition Winners

Thank you to all the entrants in our International Day of Light 2019 Poster Competition. All the entries submitted can be viewed here. The winners were as follows:

1st: Anna Laws – Star Dust: Hints of Forming Planets


2nd: Hannah Barnard – A ‘Magnifying Glass to Look at Proteins from Inside the Body


3rd: Michelle Bailey – Brillouin microscopy to non-invasively measure the mechanical properties of tissues


Honourable mentions: Lauren Barr – THz Single Pixel Imaging; Ellis Ley – Retrofitting Vintage Photographic Optics; Charlotte Parry – Frequency Conversion for Long Distance Quantum Communications.


EUOPS lighting up RAMM!

On Saturday 21st of July, EUOPS teamed up with the CDT in Metamaterials XM2 of the University of Exeter (UoE), and with the collaboration of UoE researchers and also artists from Ireland we took over the Royal Albert Memorial Museum and Art Gallery in Exeter to show wonderful hands-on experiments and demonstrations about the science of light.

Along the day visitors learnt how butterflies and beetles shine different colours, how colours are mixed in a TV screen and in an art paint, how certain animals can camouflage within their environment, and many more.

We proudly thank Lauren Barr for all the effort she put in the organisation of such a wonderful event, and also a big thanks to all of the EUOPS members and collaborators who participated in this event to share their passion for science with lots of fun!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

EUOPS is lighting up the Royal Albert Memorial Museum

Members of EUOPS are teaming up with other scientists from the University of Exeter to take over the RAMM!

On Saturday 21st July, we will be setting up stalls all around the museum where families can learn about some of the wonderful exhibits in the museum. We want to show that physics, particularly the physics of light, is everywhere around us in the natural world. We’ll use science to explain things like glowing scorpions and brilliant blue butterflies. There will be arts-and-crafts activities (it may get a bit messy), experiments, games and quizzes – something for everyone in the family to enjoy and take part in.

The event will run from 10.00-12.30 and 13.30-16.00, entrance is free, and everyone is welcome to come along and see what we’re doing.

More information can be found on the RAMM website, or please contact Lauren at

IDL Photo and Poster Exhibition

We already started celebrating the International Day of Light (IDL) 2018 at the Forum of the University of Exeter with this wonderful photo and poster exhibition. These photos and posters are a special selection of the Exeter Photo and Poster Competition; there are finalist photos in the three categories: Light in Nature, Light in Technology, and Light in Your day-to-day. And there are three finalist posters as well. Winners will be announced at 3:30 pm, and wonderful prizes will be awarded to the winners.

There’s still one competition going on, which is the Social Media Award. Follow this link and like your favourite picture. The picture with most likes will win the Social Media Award. You can also vote for your favourite poster on twitter, just find them under #IDL2018exeter or #IDLposterexeter, the poster with most re-tweets will win the Social Media Award. This competition closes today at 3pm.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Looking forward to celebrating the International Day of Light

We are really excited to be celebrating the International Day of Light 2018 in Exeter on May 16th!!

Find more information about our special activities here.

DSC_0105[1]From left to right: Henry Fernandez (President of EUOPS 2018), Alba Paniagua Diaz (President of EUOPS 2016), Erick Burgos (President of EUOPS 2017), and David Rivera (the newest member of EUOPS).

Honiton Festival of Imagination

We had so much fun showing experiments to kids attending from different local schools. There where 5 groups of 12 kids each along the day. For each group we explained how white light is formed by different colours, by using a colour mixer experiment. Then we showed them that white light can be decomposed into its different colours by using diffraction glasses. And then we showed them how things have a particular colour by reflecting white light, and those colours might be quite different when reflecting other light source rather than white light. Finally, we encouraged them to participate in a challenge: we had an ‘invisible pen’ and draw EUOPS on white paper that can be seen only when illuminated with ultra-violet light, we asked them why that drawing can be seen only with ultra-violet light, not when using white light as many other things? They will work on the answer as a group in their school, and they will send us an email with their answers, those that provide the right answer will receive a special prize from us.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.