Celebrating is a term that we frequently use, without often grasping its value.  Latins used celebratus, past participle of celebrare, in the meaning of “to perform publicly with appropriate rites”. This definition contains two important aspects: on one hand honouring something; on the other hand doing it in a public way, trying to share it with others. This year, the scientific community is celebrating for the first time the UNESCO International Day of Light, came following the 2015 International Year of Light.

That’s why the Physics Department “Ettore Pancini” together with the Department of Industrial Engineering, both of the University of Naples Federico II, and the Institute of Applied Sciences and Intelligent Systems of the National Research Council proposed “Light, Colour and Vision”, a full day dedicated to both the celebrations. The event was structured in two sessions aimed at a different audience.

In the morning, eight speakers from very different fields, from neuroscience to the psychology of perception, from the lighting design of environments to optometry, alternated in the church of the Monumental Complex of the SS. Marcellino and Festo in front of an audience of two hundred students, from university and the last year of high school. Prof. Antonio Sasso opened the session with an overview of the last 50 years of optics.

In the afternoon, the event moved to Piazza San Domenico Maggiore with a roast of activities for the general public, aimed to show how light and photonic technologies play a central role in daily lives. Students of physics, engineering, and optics and optometry have carried out hands on experiments.  The beauty and fascination of optical illusion has attracted the public, thanks to a 13 panels exhibition.

For more information, visit the event website:


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