Science by the Sea: Ideas Cafe lunchtime science talk

Laser technology

Join us for the final day of our Science by the Sea Festival; a celebration of British Science Week and continuing our festivities for the International Year of Light 2015.

Ideas Cafe presents ‘Reflections on Inventions and Discoveries’ with speaker Gareth Parry; Emeritus professor Imperial College London and Telegraph Museum Porthcurno volunteer.

Just over 50 years ago the laser was described as a ‘solution in search of a problem.’ Today, many of our day-to-day activities depend on devices which use light for communication, data storage, sensing and for displaying information. This talk will look back at some of the key inventions such as the optical amplifier, which enabled light generated in Cornwall to travel by fibre to New York with conversion to an electronic signal (and was first used on the TAT12/14 undersea cables which came into Porthcurno). We’ll also look at LED room lighting, how the mobile phone became a camera, and laser eye surgery. The talk will focus on how these inventions occurred and the celebrations and controversies that were associated with them.

Admission to Science by the Sea is the same price as normal museum admission, and we’ll automatically give you free re-admission for the 3 days of the festival. We’ll also give you free re-admission for a whole year when you Gift Aid your ticket at no extra cost to you. Buy your tickets at the museum on the day. For more visitor information, see our new website: