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18 May 2018

Photonics research network London Light launches at King's

The London Institute for Advanced Light Technologies (London Light) launched at King’s College London in May 2018 with an afternoon of installations, exhibits and talks organised to coincide with the International Day of Light. A virtual institute uniting optics and photonics research, this multidisciplinary research network brings together scientists and industries in London who work on emerging photonic technologies.

Green laser trap with suspended particle
Laser trap

London Light’s mission is to provide an interdisciplinary and collaborative environment to explore new opportunities for growing research and applications of light, a framework for interactions with the photonic industry, and training for PhD students.

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The research focus is on new and emerging areas of photonics:

  • Light for clean energy
  • Light for biology and medicine
  • Light for imaging metrology and sensors
  • Light for data storage, manipulation and displays
  • Advanced materials for nanophotonics
  • Light for quantum technologies
  • Ultrafast photonics

The International Day of Light, around which the launch was built, is a global initiative that provides an annual focal point for the continued appreciation of light and the role it plays in science, culture and art, education, and sustainable development, and in fields as diverse as medicine, communications, and energy.

london light glass article 400

The afternoon began with an exhibition in the King's Anatomy Museum featuring light experiments and light art, including work from artists Shelley James, Dara Rigal and Nedyalka Panova, and demonstrations by scientists and groups from King’s and Imperial College London. Participating King’s staff included KCL Nano-Optics, who demonstrated an all-optical sensing system based upon a nanostructured array of metallic nanorods, Dr James Millen and research student Francesco Lotti, whose experiment showed dust particles levitated by focussed laser beams, and Dr Eva Philippaki with research student Michela Picardi, who showcased their research with some examples of controlling light with simple geometrical optics.

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Opening talks followed in the Anatomy Lecture Theatre, with a keynote lecture from Professor Vahid Sandoghdar, Director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light: ‘Nano-Quantum-Optics with Organic Molecules’. The launch event ended with a celebratory drinks reception at Bush House.

In this story

James Millen

Reader in Advanced Photonics

Eva Philippaki

Senior Lecturer in Experimental Physics Education