Nobel Prize Winners 2014 for Physics

Stockholm – Nobel Prize for physics 2014 was awarded Tuesday to the three inventors of the light-emitting diode (LED bulb), two Japanese and one American of Japanese origin.

The Japanese Isamu Akasaki, 85, is rewarded with two much younger researchers, Hiroshi Amano, born in 1960, and the American Shuji Nakamura, born in 1954 in the Japan.

They have won the prize “for having invented a new light source effective from a point of view energy and good for the environment”, the jury said in a statement.

This technology is today omnipresent in our daily lives. For example, it is essential in cell phones, for which the display lighting is an energy constraint strong.

Also found in TVs, Blu – ray and the flashes of cameras, and of course readers in more and more offices and homes.

When they “produces blue light rays from their semiconductor in the early 1990s, they caused a fundamental transformation of the lighting technology. Red and green diodes exist for a long time but no blue light, could not create white lamps,”said Royal Academy of sciences.

Energy efficiency of LED bulbs has transformed the perception we have of the power of the bulbs.

While to get 1,200 lumens (good lighting in a living room) was a classic 75 watt bulb, today a 6 watt LED bulb may be sufficient, which significantly reduces consumption.

-Researcher in an SME-

“Materials consumption is also reduced since the LEDs last up to 100,000 hours, compared to 1,000 for incandescent light bulbs”, said the jury.

According to him, “the LED bulb offers great promise to improve the quality of life for 1.5 billion people who do not have access to electricity grids: due to a low energy consumption they can be ignited by cheap solar electricity”.

Shuji Nakamura is out of the ordinary of the winners of the Nobel Prize for physics, which generally career at the University only, as his two co-winners. It’s in a SME, Nichia Chemicals, that he was conducting research through which it was dedicated. He then left for the University of California at Santa Barbara, where he took American citizenship.

“It’s amazing”, he told the Nobel Foundation who contacted him.

Isamu Akasaki is Professor at two universities in the city of Nagoya, Meijo, and Nagoya. Hiroshi Amano is a professor in the latter.

Their discovery, in an area where they were competition from many other researchers and companies, came from their use of gallium nitride, on which they bet.

They share the reward of eight million kroner (about 883.000 euros).

They follow the Belgian François Englert and the British Peter Higgs, crowned in 2013 for their work on the “Higgs boson”, an elementary particle that is considered by physicists as the cornerstone of the basic structure of matter.

The Physics Prize is the second Nobel 2014 season, after medicine. It must be followed by chemistry Wednesday, literature Thursday, peace Friday and economics on Monday.

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