International Year of Glass: MPI for the Science of Light is on board

The United Nations has declared 2022 to be the Year of Glass to raise awareness among the general public of the enormous scientific, economic and cultural importance of this material. The Erlangen Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light (MPL), the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) and the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen (UKER) are also participating in the anniversary year with events and activities.

Fabrication of photonic crystal fibres Photo: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light

Fabrication of photonic crystal fibres Photo: MPL

On 10 and 11 January, the official opening ceremony with 30 lectures will take place at the Palace of Nations in Geneva. For their part, MPL and FAU are planning a launch event on 18 February in Erlangen city centre at the shop Optikmeisterei. In one of the windows of the historic building on Neustädter Kirchenplatz, researchers from the three institutions1 will inform the citizens with posters and exhibits - changing monthly - about interesting facts about glass: virtually science by passing-by.

On 1 July, there will be an information day with lectures and demonstrations on the premises of FAU and MPL. Topics will include the interaction of glasses and light or the production of photonic crystal fibres. In addition, live presentations with 3-D printing of glass, micro glass blowing or glass grinding are planned.

“Glasses and crystals play a key role in our experiments not only as optical elements such as lenses, mirrors or prisms, but can also house ions and molecules with different quantum properties – which can lead to fascinating colour effects,” explains Vahid Sandoghdar, one of MPLs directors. Also, an interesting topic are Photonic crystal fibres, glass fibres that are almost as thin as human hair and in whose cavities, light exhibits unusual, in some cases completely new behavior. The Max Planck Institute is a world leader in the production of these fibres and has special melting furnaces and clean rooms for their manufacture.   

1 On the FAU side, the Chair of Glass and Ceramics, the Chair of Biomaterials and the Chair of Photonic Technologies are involved; on the UKER side, Dental Clinic 1 - Dental Preservation and Periodontology.


More information about the Year of Glass





Edda Fischer

Head of Communication and Marketing
Phone: +49 (0)9131 7133 805


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