Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Inventors of Blue LEDs win Nobel Prize in Physics

From Inside Science News Service:
"The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to two Japanese and one U.S. citizen, all born in Japan, 'for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.'
"The prize goes jointly to Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan, Hiroshi Amano of Nagoya University in Japan, and Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara. Starting in the 1990s they produced blue LEDs, an energy-efficient, environmentally friendly source of blue light, which could be mixed with LEDs of other colors to produce a mixture that the eye sees as white light."
Philips SlipStyle; mashable.com
The Nobel Prize news release highlights the significance of their achievement, succeeding "where everyone else had failed," to transform how the world uses electricity for lighting.  Ultimately, the switch from incandescent or fluorescent to LED means enormous savings in energy, decreased consumption of manufacturing materials, and improving "the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids: due to low power requirements it can be powered by cheap local solar power." Pretty remarkable for a tiny light bulb.

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