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The Wonder Of Light: International Photonics Experts Gather At Duke

A laser beam is projected from the Keck II telescope in Hawaii.
Paul Hirst
Creative Commons

This week, Duke University is hosting a conference with the world's foremost experts in light-based technologies.

The science of photonics studies how light interacts with matter. Fiber optic cable and lasers are two goods that were developed through photonics.

Janna Register is an organizer of this week's symposium at Duke’s Fitzpatrick Institute forPhotonics.

“Photonics is improving rapid communications, it is revolutionizing the way we diagnose disease, and it's the basis for a lot of really cool technologies, like personalized health monitoring.”

Register says presentations include a laser used to clean works of art, and an endoscope that can help doctors study live human tissue.

State and world leaders are gathering at the university this week, including two Nobel Laureates.

“We're bringing them all together in order not lot only present work that they're doing – exciting research that's happening in photonics – but also to come together to discuss where photonics is headed in the next century.”

This is a premier event of the United Nations’ International Year of Light.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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