At present, most activities celebrating the International Year of Light 2015 [IYL 2015] have focussed principally on science and technology of light, and less on cultural aspects of light (though some scientific research institutes however, do foresee talks on light and arts or theology). A laudable exception was the spring concert of the choir of the Bernese Gymnasium Neufeld at end of March 2015, which was dedicated to the IYL 2015. This exceptional concert presented an interesting selection of classical music on the theme ‘Light’. Examples were the composition ’Let there be light’ for choir, brass instruments and organ by Charles E. Ives, and ‘Uncertain Light’ for double choir a capella by Robert Schumann. The high level performance was accompanied by a special laser show designed by students as part of their final ‘matura’ work. It can be seen at http://www.gymneufeld.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/gymneufeld/news/Konzert_2015-03/Konzert_2015-03_Let-there-be-Light.pdf
In order to gain more public attention for the IYL 2015 message, it is necessary to reach the mass media such as newspapers, journals and television. This, however, is surprisingly difficult, even if they are provided with best informational and promotional material. Therefore a special task force of engineers and physicists from several Swiss photonics companies decided to create a special press kit, which will be distributed by the photonic firms to their local public media. Each firm describes first a special highlight in photonics which created jobs, such as the space optics of the successful ESA Rosetta-mission, and then points out the opportunities of modern photonics to create new jobs. The nationally coordinated, but regionally focused action, using companies to relay the message, will increase public awareness. It is hoped that in particular, young people will be made aware of employment possibilities in the field of photonics. Hopefully this will also stimulate their own IYL-activities!
Annual meeting of the Swiss Physical Society
It is now a well accepted tradition that every 2 years, the Swiss Physical Society [SPS] annual meetings are organised together with the Austrian Physical Society [ÖPG], the Swiss Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy [SSAA] and the Austrian Society for Astrophysics and Astronomy [ÖGAA]. This fourth joint conference (after 2009, 2011 and 2013) will take place from 1 – 4 September 2015 at the Technical University in Vienna.
Further information on the activities of the SPS can be found at: http://www.sps.ch/home/