Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore launched the Photonics Institute at the end of October, which it describes as "one of the most advanced institutes in the field today." NTU partnered with the University of Southampton to set up the new institute. Southampton is home to the Optoelectronics Research Centre, renowned as a center of excellence in optical fiber development.
As part of the celebration of the opening of the new facility, NTU hosted a a special lecture series entitled, "Century of Light," on 30 October. In this series, SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs discussed the upcoming International Year of Light (IYL) in 2015.
"The International Year of Light is a unique opportunity to showcase the importance of light through history and for the future of humanity," noted Arthurs. "Before it was understood, light was always recognized and revered in ancient religions and civilizations. Today, only a small percentage of people have any technical understanding of light and its crucial role in our lives. The percentage of politicians who grasp this is likely even smaller, yet they control the resources needed to allow the science and technology of light to address major challenges for future generations. The International Year of Light will bring together the global community to communicate the reality and the vision."
SPIE Member Sir David Payne of the University of Southampton discussed optical fibers in his talk "From glass to Google." In "There's plenty of light at the bottom," SPIE Member Nikolay Zheludev of the Optoelectronics Research Centre explained how nanophotonics is the nanotechnology of light.