The FZU celebrated the Day of Light established to mark the discovery of laser

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On the 16th of May 2019, an event to celebrate the International Day of Light took place at the Institute of Physics of the Czech Academy of Sciences. The event was aimed at raising awareness among the general public about the importance of light for science, culture, art, education and other areas. For this day, HiLASE and ELI Beamlines laser centres of the Institute of Physics had organized an Open Doors Day.


On the 16th of May 1960, Theodore Maiman, an American physicist and engineer, succeeded in starting the first laser system in the world. In 2017 this day was established by UNESCO as the International Day of Light. Since 2018 it has been celebrated across all continents as well as in the Czech Republic. At this occasion, ELI Beamlines and HiLASE laser centres hosted a special Open Doors Day. The unique atmosphere of the event was enhanced by special illumination and light projections on the darkened buildings of the centres after sunset.


The highlights of the International Day of Light were a series of popular lectures (The secret of the most intensive laser in the world, Light: source of energy for life and technology, etc.), a workshop entitled Particles in a cup of lemonade and guided tours around laser centres of the FZU in Dolní Břežany. As part of the accompanying programme, visitors could interfere with virtual reality and interactive exhibits, participate in logic games or, for example, check out what it is like to be inside a cleanroom suit that scientists wear in laser halls.

An informal excursion entitled: “Hot dogs, Lasers, Atoms” for university students of physical and technical fields of study where students were welcome to talk to scientists about the research in thin films, microscopy and related technologies was prepared at the FZU facility in “Cukrovarnická street” in Prague 6. Tasty refreshments were included at the event.