Nobel Prize in Physics 2014: Led lighting rewarded
Members of the Royal Academy of Sciences of Sweden against all odds by awarding the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014 for the Japanese and American physicists behind the technology of blue LEDs. Deserved reward already used in mobile phones and Blu-ray, the blue LED will become ubiquitous in the future of lighting.
The blue LED is poised to change the future of humanity in the same way that the light bulb Edison did in the last century. Their discovery deserved a Nobel Prize.
The choice of the winner of Nobel Prize in Physics in 2014 are probably surprised many. Among the frontrunners were Wojciech Zurek and Vera Rubin. One for his work on decoherence in quantum physics and the second for his work on dark matter . But it is ultimately for contributions apparently much less spectacular than the members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the prize famous of Alfred Nobel Japanese physicists Isamu Akasaki , Hiroshi Amano and American physicist of Japanese Shuji Nakamura .
In the early 1990s, these three scientists have indeed managed to get through perseverance diodes emitting blue. Many had failed before them for nearly 30 years despite sustained efforts. Simply a matter of color ? No. In doing so, they initiated a technological revolution which all the consequences have not yet been felt, but that could be for the XXI th century that the bulb 's Edison was to the XX th century.
The light-emitting diode (English: Light - Emitting Diode , LED ) existed long before the work of three researchers. One of its major advantages is its low power consumption. Unlike lamps bulbs , which produce a lot of heat, the use of semiconductors in LED features an almost direct conversion of electricity into light . One could imagine, for example, replace the lighting of cities by Led. But this required to produce white light. But for a long time did not allow the LED to produce than red or green light. A solution to obtain white light was of course obvious: together using red, green and blue LEDs. Easier said than done. The development of these blue LED's cooperation was indeed very difficult. Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura finally succeeded using indium gallium nitride.
The LED, the lighting of the future world
Today, the blue LED are almost everywhere since they are found in the flashes of mobile phones and the screens backlight LCD . They are also involved in the operation of lasers fitted blue drives optical disc Blu-ray . But at a time when humanity is consuming more and more energy and resources as fuels fossils are depleted or threaten the climate of the Earth , the global replacement of incandescent lamps with LED will certainly win. 20 to 30% of global electricity is used for lighting effect. However, as technology continues to grow, lighting Led currently reaches up to 300 lumens per watt as incandescent lamps are 16 lumens per watt.
Nearly 1.5 billion people in developing countries could benefit in the near future a cheap and environmentally friendly lighting through LED powered by solar electricity . This is a good illustration of the thesis of Peter Diamandis exposed in his book Abundance: The Future Is Better Than You Think . The CEO of the X Prize Foundation will maintains that technological advances make it possible to abundant resources that are initially rare.
Given the impact on the well-being of mankind has led and will continue to lead the development of blue LED and given the spirit in which Alfred Nobel established its prices, it seems clear that awarded in physics for 2014 is particularly well justified.