BY JOSHUA VAN OSTRAND
TheMuseum’s new exhibit, Light Illuminated, is designed to show people in the community some aspects of light that affect their daily lives. The museum is hosting the exhibit as part of the United Nations’ International Year of Light, a global initiative to raise awareness of the importance of light and light-based technologies.
Spread across six rooms, Light Illuminated uses many interactive exhibits to show museum guests some of the more interesting properties of light. These exhibits were created with help from students at the Optical Society, the Institute for Quantum Computing and the University of Waterloo. Guests are invited to race light and to create artwork that is affected by ultraviolet light.
The exhibit covers five main topics: the properties of light, understanding polarization, understanding the spectrum of light, and understanding reflection and refraction. The exhibit also includes works of art that incorporate the sciences behind light.
“The whole purpose for doing an exhibit about light is to celebrate it and help people to understand how light affects them every single day,” said Aimee Gunther, a physics PhD student at the Institute for Quantum Computing and founding member of the Optical Society chapter in Waterloo Region. “(We want to show) what technologies they use that actually are light based as well as what companies in the surrounding region are light-based and how the technologies of light affect this region.”
All the exhibits culminate in a timed lazer maze, a favourite part of the exhibit for both staff and the students who helped put the exhibit together. The lazer maze covers approximately 200 square feet and incorporates elements such as smoke and mirrors to help educate about the reflection of light.
“In this technology-based community, along with the UN’s International Year of Light, with exhibits created and built by the community, I am just delighted that we’re hosting here at TheMuseum,” said David Marskell, CEO of TheMuseum.
The exhibit, located at 10 King St. W., runs until March 28.