press & News

Easy-to-Understand Photonics Books Donated to Rochester Museum & Science Center for Public Distribution

    ROCHESTER, NY—Yesterday, Peter Hallett, Director of Marketing and Industry Relations at SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, presented 400 books on the topic of photonics to the Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC). Accepting the generous donation was Kate Bennett, President, RMSC. The RMSC is distributing these books for free to area educators and students, as well as interested RMSC visitors, to encourage a new generation of photonics enthusiasts.  

    The book, Photonics – Technical Applications of Light, originally published in German by SPECTARIS, the German Hightech Industry Association, is written in an approachable style suitable for mainstream readers and potential young engineers and scientists. In essence, it’s photonics in an infographic form discussed in a way that the layperson can easily understand. SPIE collaborated with SPECTARIS on the English-language version of the book.

    “Part of our mission at SPIE is to support photonics education and RMSC is a natural partner for us since they are doing the same thing,” said Hallett. “The RMSC inspires students to enter science fields and if we can help foster that with the donation of these books, we’ve done our job at that level.”

    “We are grateful for the generosity of SPIE and their work in helping us shed light on the world of photonics for students,” said Bennett. “We are happy to strengthen Rochester’s new role as photonics hub through sparking curiosity in science in our exhibits, programs and now the availability of this book.”

    Illumination: The World of Light and Optics, an exhibition at RMSC that opened last summer, offers visitors of all ages a hands-on opportunity to explore the amazing light-based technologies that impact our daily lives. More than fifteen interactive components invite experimentation with aspects of light to understand its nature. The exhibition encourages the exploration of scientific concepts including reflection and refraction, radio waves and color temperature. The RMSC also promotes photonics in its Inventor Center as well as through several programs throughout the year.

    For a high-resolution image and additional information, contact Amanda Bayer, Marketing Communications Manager, RMSC at 585.697.1962 or or visit the Press / News section of our website at

    SPIE Background:

    SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering and technology. The Society serves nearly 264,000 constituents from approximately 166 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2015, SPIE provided more than $5.2 million in support of education and outreach programs.

    RMSC Background:

    Rochester Museum & Science Center (RMSC) includes the Science Museum, Strasenburgh Planetarium and Cumming Nature Center. Offering experiences at the Museum with more than 200 interactive exhibits, Planetarium with a 65-foot dome and Nature Center on 900 acres, the RMSC stimulates community interest in exploration. In addition, the more than 1.2 million RMSC collection items tell the story of Rochester’s past including its rich history of innovation and invention. RMSC receives major funding from Monroe County, where it is one of the top three most visited attractions serving children and families. For more information about RMSC, visit Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram.