for tomorrow



That's the message that Prof Andrew Forbes will demonstrate in a free visual lecture - Light Fantastic - to budding young science minds as part of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University's Science Discovery Week on Wednesday 1 July.

The laser photonics specialist will show some of the amazing things that can be achieved because of scientists' understanding of lights.

"Light touches our lives in so many ways ... Can you imagine a world without light?"

The Wits University professor, who is one of about 450 delegates attending the annual Institute for Physics Conference in the metro from 30 June to 2 July, believes scientists have a responsibility to share what they do with the public.

Two other popular lectures will be held during the conference covering outer space and climate change on Tuesday 30 June and Thursday 2 July respectively both at 7pm at the Boardwalk Convention Centre. Entry is free via Computicket.

But Prof Forbes is particularly interested in exciting the next generation of scientists.

"I don't think it matters what we talk about in reaching out to budding young minds. But fortunately for me, light is a wonderful topic."

He said the technology it had spawned touched us in so many ways.

"Our future lies with light. Think back 10 to 20 years … telephone calls would have involved copper wire and electrons – today it is fibre optics and light.  The old television sets were big tubes – electrons directed to a screen; now it is light-based technologies like LCD and plasma TV sets."

In fact, virtually all technologies are light-based today.

"I want learners to know that there is a place for everyone in what we call the photonic revolution that is here today."

NMMU, for example, hosts the Centre for Broadband Communication because of its expertise with fibre optic technology.

Prof Forbes' Light Fantastic show is open to all learners. If you would like to attend please contact Ryan Farrant on


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