chapter  1
18 Pages

Biomedical Photonics: A Revolution at the Interface of Science and Technology

Throughout human history, light has played an important role in medicine. In prehistoric times, the healing power of light was often attributed to mythological, religious, and supernatural powers. The history of light therapy dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Hindus, Romans, and Greeks, all of whom created temples to worship the therapeutic powers of light, especially sunlight, for healing the body as well as the mind and the soul. In Hindu mythology, Dhanvantar, originally a sun god, is physician of the gods and a teacher of healing arts to humans. In Greek mythology, Apollo, the god of healing, who taught medicine to man, is also called the sun god or the “god of light.” These and other mythological figures are testaments to humankind’s recognition of the healing power of light since the dawn of time.