Blue LED wins Nobel Prize for Physics 2014

7 October 2014

This year’s Nobel Prize for Physics has been awarded to three physicists who spurred on technology that has revolutionised the way that we light our lives.

Blue LEDss

The prize goes to Nagoya University’s Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, an IOP Fellow, and the University of California, Santa Barbara's, Shuji Nakamura for the development of blue LEDs, which alongside green and red make white light possible.

The use of LEDs has become ubiquitous in our daily lives – used as a light source in everything from headlamps to the light in our phones or behind our computer screens.

In response to the announcement, Dr Frances Saunders, President of the Institute of Physics (IOP), said, “With 20% of the world’s electricity used for lighting, it’s been calculated that optimal use of LED lighting could reduce this to four per cent.  Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura’s research has made this possible and this prize recognises this contribution.  

“This is physics research that is having a direct impact on the grandest of scales, helping protect our environment, as well as turning up in our everyday electronic gadgets.

“It’s wonderful that the Nobel Foundation have chosen to commend these three physicists’ work on the cusp of the International Year of Light 2015, a global initiative to highlight the importance of light in our lives.”  

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