What is biophotonics?

Happy Day of Photonics! As Carlos Lee of the European Photonics Industry Consortium (EPIC) explains, on October 21, 1983, the General Conference of Weights And Measures adopted the value of 299,792.458 km/s for the speed of light—and this anniversary is a fitting opportunity for a global celebration of the impact of photonics on our daily lives.

One thing that inspired the establishment of the Day of Photonics is the fact that, while the general public is familiar with the term electronics, for instance, the term photonics is not so well understood. So today, activities (demonstrations, open house receptions, discussions, and more) are taking place in more than 30 countries to broaden understanding and appreciation of photonics—that is, technologies involving light.

At BioOptics World, our focus is photonics (including optics) for life sciences—that is, biophotonics. Applications of biophotonics range from biological research to monitoring and treatment of diseases and environmental problems. For instance, from research done with the technology that won this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry (super-resolution microscopy) to applications such as cancer detection and treatment; to laser eye surgery (think LASIK); environmental monitoring; and food processing.

There is much to celebrate on this day!

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