The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2014 has been awarded to three Japanese scientists for “the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, enabling bright and energy-saving white light sources.” The publicity generated by this award is likely to boost consumer interest in LED lamps.
“The 21st century will be lit by LED lamps”
Professors Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura created the first blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs) during the early 1990s. While red and green LEDs had been around for many years, blue LEDs had long stymied scientists in both academia and industry. Without them, the three colours could not be mixed to produce white light in lamps, as well as in computers and on TV screens.
In its award citation, the Nobel Academy stated that: “Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps.” Furthermore, it noted that the light source was brighter, cleaner and longer-lasting and would both save energy and the quality of life of millions of people around the world. “The LED lamp holds great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids. Due to low power requirements, it can be powered by cheap local solar power,” the committee stated.