2014 Nobel Prize for Physics Go To Inventors of the Blue LED

The Nobel Prize award-giving body announced today, 7th of October, the winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics: Japanese Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, and American Shuji Nakamura. The three scientists have received much acclaim for their invention of the new energy-efficient and green light source, the blue LEDs (light-emitting diodes), that have been exploited for a wide variety of uses, including the make-up of smartphones.

blue LED

After the first 2014 Nobel Prize (Nobel Prize for Medicine) was given out to scientists for their discovery of the “brain GPS”, it is now the turn to reward the physicists. Two Japanese, Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano, and American Shuji Nakamura who was born in Japan but is now a US citizen, received the Nobel Prize for Physics.

The blue LEDs that the three men created have been universally used: from lightbulbs to smartphone flashlights and displays. We should all be grateful for their invention – I mean, just how many of us cannot live without their smartphones?!

The origin of the blue LED

Back in the early 1990s, the three scientists invented the blue light beams. Bulbs with the blue LEDs have proved to be more efficient than the conventional ones. They also last much longer: up to 100 000 hours, as opposed to 10, 000 hours for fluorescent lights and 1, 000 for incandescent bulbs.

What are the blue LEDs?

They are light bulbs that are not dependent on the filament seen in the early bulbs. They are made up of many layers of semiconducting materials through which the movement of electrons allows for electricity to be converted into light energy.

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