Scientists win Nobel Peace Prize for Blue LED

This year’s nobel peace prizes were handed out to 3 scientists who developed the Blue LED. The Blue LED help revolutionize modern LED lights in many applications from home and commercial lighting to solar powered lights.

Nobel Peace Prize Slide

Image courtesy of NPR & Bertil Ericson/EPA/Landov

The trio will share the prize of 1.1 million US dollars for their invention.

Nobelprize.org says:

“When Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura produced bright blue light beams from their semi-conductors in the early 1990s, they triggered a fundamental transformation of lighting technology. Red and green diodes had been around for a long time, but without blue light, white lamps could not be created. Despite considerable efforts, both in the scientific community and in industry, the blue LED had remained a challenge for three decades.

“They succeeded where everyone else had failed. Akasaki worked together with Amano at the University of Nagoya, while Nakamura was employed at Nichia Chemicals, a small company in Tokushima. Their inventions were revolutionary. Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps.”

The New York Times says the three physicists “working together and separately” were able to lay the groundwork enabling the “production of white light from light-emitting diodes, or LEDs. In just 20 years, the Nobel committee said, the invention has revolutionized lighting. For the same amount of energy consumption, LED bulbs produce four times the light of a fluorescent bulb and nearly 20 times the light of a standard incandescent bulb.”

Read the full article and discussion on this accomplishment on NPR.

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