The #GooglePhotonics Challenge
I was introduced to the word “photonics” when I first met Carlos Lee in 2019. He said he wanted the word to become as well known as “quantum” is today.
I’ve been thinking about how this might be done.
Both words are associated with enabling technologies that have, in the last 50 years, made possible some of the world’s greatest scientific and industrial advances. But here’s the thing. The word “quantum” is 400 years older than “photonics”. It’s been in the Oxford English Dictionary since 1567 and, for over a century, the darling of the greatest physicists in the world.
It was only in 1967 that the word “photonics” was coined by French physicist Pierre Aigrain, and another decade before it appeared in wider use.
This is why Photonics (as yet) doesn’t have an Einstein, a Theory or a Leap to attract media headlines, students and investors. On an average day there are 740 google searches of “photonics” across all websites worldwide (that’s a lot less than, say, “photophobia”, the fear of light).
My feeling is that Photonics may never be as well known as Quantum. But I don’t think that matters. Because while we all know the word Quantum, how many of us know what it means? Photonics doesn’t have that problem, once you know it exists.
If you’d like to test my assumption, take 30 seconds to google search “quantum”, then 30 seconds to search “photonics”. Which one do you understand better now?
A pro bono campaign by The Right Street & EPIC / #DayofPhotonics2021
*We’re specialists in marketing and lead generation for the Photonics sector – because we’re genuinely passionate about Photonics.