UCL Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering


6 Vessels of Light

The "6 Vessels of Light," is an evocative art display inspired by the work of the Optical Networks Group that merges science and creativity.

6 vessels of light art

Created by ONG's Artist-in-Residence, Dara Rigal, the artwork delves into the research of the group and their pioneering work in optical communications.

The centerpiece of the display features glass offcuts from the manufacturing process of optical fibres, illuminated to highlight the phenomena of ‘total internal reflection’ and ‘wave guiding.’ These striking vessels of light, encased in metal and glass, symbolise the transformative journey from traditional copper-based communication systems to advanced optical fibre networks. 

The exhibit showcases the intricate beauty and scientific marvels that underpin modern communication technologies.

The commissioned work is part of a broader celebration of UCL's rich history of innovation. In 1904, Sir John Ambrose Fleming, then the Pender Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at UCL, invented the Thermionic Valve. This invention, pivotal in detecting high-frequency radio waves, marked a significant milestone in the communications revolution and laid the foundation for the field of electronics.

Technician John Langdon has been instrumental in bringing this art display to life, ensuring that the technical aspects of the optical phenomena are accurately represented.

The "6 Vessels of Light" stands as a testament to the profound impact of research and its ability to inspire and captivate across disciplines. More information about Dara Rigal's work can be found here.