2014 Physics Nobel Prize

2014 physics nobel prize

Blue light-emitting diode

The 2014 physics Nobel Prize is awarded to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes. This has led to bright energy-saving white light diodes.

To create a regular white led, or light emitting diode, you need three colors, red, green and blue. The green and red LEDs have been around for a long time the last piece of the puzzle was much harder to come by. Common light-bulbs emit light by letting current through a thin filament. This causes a lot of heat as well as some light. The diode creates light directly from the electricity making the process much more efficient.

The 2014 Physics Nobel Prize lights up the Room

In the 1990s the researchers made the discovery that enabled them to create the blue light emitting diode. At this time Akasaki worked with Amano at the University of Nagoya and Nakamura had employment at at Nichia Chemicals.

Just two of the three of the laureates could be reached at the time of the announcement. I’m guessing someone has a surprise in store.  Nakamura spoke at a press conference expressing joy over the award finding it “unbelievable” and “amazing”. The three scientists will share the prize of 8 million Swedish kronor or $1,1 million.

The real advantage of the LED lights is its efficiency. Even today the diodes are still being improved. The current luminescence record for these diodes stands at 300 lumen/W that’s about 20 times more efficient than a regular bulb and almost five times as efficient as a fluorescent bulb. LEDs also are extremely durable. They can last up to 100,000 h that’s between 10 and  a 100 times longer than fluorescent and regular bulbs.

2014 physics Nobel Prize is the second announced. The first in medicine were awarded to the brain “GPS” read more here.

Image credit: Tudor Barker via flickr.com in accordance with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0