Throughout the International Year of Light, there were opportunities to take park in free workshops and attend lectures from our scientists and researchers. Highlights included:

Edinburgh International Science Festival

EnLightenment: Molecules, Brains, Light & Art

Discover the recent, largely untold, revolution that has taken place in the world of biological microscopy. The last 100-or-so years has told us that a 'limit of resolution' exists and until recently, this has stood. In 2014, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to three researchers who challenged this limit and broke through, creating new techniques that allow scientists to see inside living cells with higher resolution than they could have imagined even 5 years ago.

Through presentations, demonstrations and audience participation, Prof Rory Duncan and Dr Paul Dalgarno from Heriot-Watt University showed how an unusual alliance between marine biologists, some fluorescent undersea creatures, physics, chemistry, engineering and mathematics allowed neurobiologists to see the breath-taking beauty inside working nerve cells.

Read more about: EnLightenment: Molecules, Brains, Light & Art

Engineering the New Enlightenment

Taking inspiration from 2015 the International Year of Light and Light Based Technologies we explored how light engineering is opening up unknown and far-reaching possibilities. Scientists, engineers and technicians are performing cutting-edge research with light, using it to revolutionise communications, cure diseases and solve crimes.

Read more about: Engineering the New Enlightenment

Incredible Power of Light

Scottish Parliament

Have you ever wondered how one of the world’s most powerful lasers works? Vulcan is a laser facility – 10,000 times more powerful than the National Grid – that can deliver pulses of light of up to one petawatt of energy. A replica of this amazing laser formed the centrepiece of this exhibition, celebrating the International Year of Light 2015, along with interactive exhibits, animations, hardware and displays that tell the story of how lasers impact our daily lives. There were workshops and public lectures from Heriot-Watt academics & staff; more information here.

Read more about: Incredible Power of Light

DIY Photography, Summer Workshop

National Museum of Scotland

Images captured by photography are important to all of us. From viewing the latest news events as they unfold to experiencing new cultures and environments, photography is an important part of our everyday life. But have you ever wondered how a camera works? In this hands-on workshops we  explored the science behind the camera by building simple lens based cameras, and showed how we can use this to take real photos!

Creative Cameras: Photography in a new light, After-hours Event

National Museum of Scotland

How do you take images so fast that you can see light travelling through the air? How do you use the latest technology to look round corners and see objects hidden from view? Come along and see the world in a brand new way.

Prof. Eric Betzig, Nobel Laureate

Royal College of Physicians

Professor Eric Betzig, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in the development of Super-Resolution Microscopy, came to Edinburgh in August 2015 to teach at the ESRIC Super-Resolution Summer School. As part of this visit he gave an inspiring public lecture to a vast audience of potential Nobel prize winners!

InnovationLight

November 26, Edinburgh International Conference Centre

As part of the International Year of Light, Professor Rory Duncan and Dr Paul Dalgarno from the Institute of Biological Chemistry, Biophysics & Bioengineering explored the new and amazing techniques they are using at the Edinburgh Super Resolution Imaging Consortium (ESRIC). They enlightened the audience on the untold revolution in microscopy, where the unusual alliance between marine biologists, some fluorescent undersea creatures, physics, chemistry, engineering and mathematics has allowed biologists to see the breath-taking beauty inside working nerve cells.