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Blue LED Beams Nobel Fame

Blue LED sculpture Makoto TajikiLight-emitting diodes illuminate everything from traffic signals to shimmering sculptures like this one by Makoto Tojiki. But the researchers whose early 1990s breakthrough – a blue-light LED – made today’s energy-saving white lamps possible toiled mostly in the shadows… until they won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2014.

No longer. In September, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel Prize in physics to Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University in Nagoya, Japan, Hiroshi Amano of Nagoya University, and Shuji Nakamura, a professor of materials and co-director of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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