Nobel Prize for Physics Awarded to Blue LED Creators.
LED technology is nothing new, it has been around for decades, in fact the first red LEDs were invented towards the end of the 1950’s but it took almost until the end of the century for the blue LED to appear. The three Japanese scientists who invented the world’s first blue LED’s have recently received the highest accolade for their ground breaking work.
The Blue LED was the hardest to create. The three scientists Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura succeeded where many before them had tried and failed, even big business with their deep pockets. The three scientists will now share the $1.1 million price money for the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics as well as joining the ranks of other famous prize wining physicists.
The key to their scientific breakthrough came in 1986, without going into the finer details, it basically involved using Gallium nitrate and a scaffold made partly of sapphire to grow crystals for use in the semiconductors to get the correct wavelength needed to produce blue light.
So why is this important? Well, without the blue LED we wouldn’t have white light LED bulbs or displays; the blue light was needed to really revolutionize the lighting industry and once red green and blue LEDs were all available then the bright white lights from the likes of CREE and Philips as well as LED displays set the industry alight and changed so much that is now taken for granted.
You may be asking why the creators of something so small deserves to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics but the Nobel jury emphasized the usefulness of this invention and added that Nobel prizes were established to recognize developments that brought “The greatest benefit to mankind”. While incandescent light bulbs lit the 19th and 20th centuries the 21st century will be lit by LEDs and they represent one of the best ways for energy saving and combating increasing levels of carbon dioxide emissions. Dr France Saunders the president of the Institute of Physics was quoted as saying “With 20% of the worlds electricity used for lighting it’s been calculated that optimal use of LED lighting could reduce this to just 4%”. Clearly this represents huge savings for the environment and peoples’ wallets so the Nobel Prize is well deserved, even if a little overdue.
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You may also be interest in How you can save money on your electric bill by switching to LED light bulbs or how to use LED lights for interior and exterior design.
You can read the full story of how they achieved this at the Nobel Prize website.
You can read more about the Nobel Winning Scientists and their invention here.