Prince Sharma - 2nd Winner (Blog Writing Competition, Laser Turns 60)

Let's take a moment and ask ourselves, what else has illuminated our lives and what is the thing that kept the life of almost every creature beautiful, lively, and colourful? What you say about our one of the strongest abilities to sense light? - our vision! Nature has endowed the human eye with such a powerful ability to detect light which allowed us to perceive the world around us. Or simply saying, if there is no light, there is no sight. If you go deeper into understanding how our eye has formulated the light to form images on our retina, this is what we call 'Optics' in modern science. It is Optics which has harnessed the power of light. Starting from the very basics, let me tell you how often we come across optical materials, this will better help us realize the significance of optics. The spectacles we wear to correct our eyes sight, the mirror we look at every morning, the spherical TV antenna, the CD Player, a dentist's focusing lights and his small convex mirrors, colourful rainbow, and most importantly the internet which has connected the whole world using optical fibres and so on. The list is endless. Scientists nowadays have utilised optics at such an advanced level that it has brought vague imaginations into fully developed science with a very precise mathematical treatment. It has widened our range of sight significantly from the smallest things in picometers to our ability to see the farthest objects light-years away. If we explore beyond the visible spectrum, optics has undergone major advancement in the world of remote sensing and wireless communication systems. Not only this, identifying the behaviour and movement of celestial objects has been made possible with the help of astronomical optics. Or if I specifically mention, it is adaptive optics designed for astronomy which enables us to detect a low level of light. Let's not go much theoretical in understanding it's significance. Looking at the drawings shown below which is created by a fine understanding of rays striking our eyes, We can better understand by observing how our eyes perception changes by looking at both the drawings differentiated by the addition of some fine shadings.

Similar methods are undertaken by the magicians to trick our brains. Lastly, I would like to mention here that according to a report more than 5000 optics related companies are operational as of now. Moreover, many countries including India are working collaboratively on various optics related mega-projects like Thirty Meter Telescope (TMT), Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO), India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) etc. aimed to explore the universe and light.

Prince Sharma

Former President

SPIE Student Chapter ANDC

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