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Take part in our photo challenge

Photograph through sunglasses

By James Dacey

Physics is without doubt an incredibly visual subject. From the distant stars and galaxies observed by telescopes to the technicolour bursts captured by particle detectors, images play an inspirational role in our understanding of the physical universe at all scales.

At the heart of scientific imagery is light. Indeed, in recognition of the vital role light plays in science and engineering, a proposal has been made for an International Year of Light in 2015 to promote improved public and political understanding of the central role of light in the modern world.

We want to celebrate the connections between light and the physical world by asking you to share your photos. Take part in the Physics World photo challenge by submitting photos to our Flickr group on the theme of “Light In Physics”. Please add your photos by Wednesday 29 February and then after this date we will choose a selection of our favourite images to be showcased on

Nature is teeming with photo opportunities. It might be the dramatic light shows produced by aurora, pearl-like water droplets glistening in a spider’s web, or the shimmering structural colours paraded by animals such as peacocks and butterflies. Or you may choose to capture an image indoors, maybe a laboratory demonstration of a basic optics principle or perhaps a fascinating array of laser light. Be as creative as like.

Please also feel free to write a caption to share the story behind the image. Your photos may be an interesting physical phenomenon, or may have required some inventive and time-consuming photography. Expensive equipment is not necessarily required, however. People prove every day that you can capture an inspiring snapshot using the most basic of cameras, even the one on your mobile phone.

We look forward to your photos – happy snapping!

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