. Photonics is the science of light. It is the technology of generating, controlling, and detecting light waves and photons, which are particles of light. The characteristics of the waves and photons can be used to explore the universe, cure diseases, and even to solve crimes. Scientists have been studying light for hundreds of years. The colors of the rainbow are only a small part of the entire light wave range, called the electromagnetic spectrum. Photonics explores a wider variety of wavelengths, from gamma rays to radio, including X-rays, UV and infrared light.
The impact of photonics in our daily lives is massive :
The ability of light to detect and measure in a fast, sensitive and accurate way gives photonics a unique potential to revolutionize healthcare. Biophotonics is the use of light-based technologies in the bio & medical sciences. It can be used effectively for very early detection of diseases, with non-invasive imaging techniques or point-of-care applications. Biophotonics is also instrumental to the analysis of processes at the molecular level, giving a greater understanding of the origin of diseases, and hence allowing prevention and new treatments.
Lighting and Energy savings
Photonics are used also in advanced lighting technology, such as Solid State Lighting (SSL) for general lighting applications. SSL is based on light emitting diodes (LEDs) and organic LED (OLED) technologies. It provides higher quality lighting and contributes to substantial energy savings. Intensive manufacturing and research activities aim to further improve SSL performance – particularly energy efficiency and quality – and therefore reduce costs.
Safety and security
Photonics is a key enabler for enhancing the safety and security of people, goods and the environment. It makes possible to build contactless sensors and visual applications operating in various ranges of the light spectrum (from X-ray to Terahertz), sufficiently sensitive and accurate to reliably detect potential hazards or dangerous situations.