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  • Noble Prize in Physics 2014

    Noble Prize in Physics 2014

    The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics to Professor Isamu Akasaki at Meijo University, Nagoya, and Nagoya University, Japan; Professor Hiroshi Amano at Nagoya University, Japan; and Professor Shuji Nakamura at University of California, Santa Barbara, for the invention of efficient blue light–emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.

    Red and green light-emitting diodes had been around for decades, but without blue light, white lamps could not be created. Working together and separately, Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura devised those bright blue beams from their semiconductors, and launched "a fundamental transformation in light technology.

    Isamu Akasaki, 85, of Japan, is a professor at Meijo University, Nagoya and a distinguished professor at Nagoya University. Since the 1960s, Akasaki has been researching ways to overcome the roadblocks facing high-performance blue LEDs and lasers. For his efforts, he has received the 2009 Kyoto Prize for Advanced Technology and the 2011 IEEE Edison Medal.

    Amano, 54, of Japan, is also a professor at Nagoya University.

    Nakamura, 60, a Japanese-American, is a professor in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. A recipient of the 2006 Millennium Technology Prize and the 2009 Harvey Prize, Nakamura has also worked on green LEDs, and created the white LED and blue laser diodes that are used in Blu-Ray discs and HD DVDs.

    The Nobel Prize in Physics is awarded once a year by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895 and awarded since 1901, others are the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize in Literature, Nobel Peace Prize, and Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

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