The Nobel committee has announced the winner of the Physics Prize. Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Nagoya University and Shuji Nakamura of the University of California Santa Barbara will share the prize for their invention of blue LEDs. Blue LEDs are both brighter and more efficient than LEDs of other colors, but were more difficult to develop.
The Nobel committee noted that a LED bulb can be nearly 19 times as efficient as a traditional lightbulb as well as lasting 100 times as long. It said that the technology could be “revolutionary” as around one-fourth of global electricity consumption is for lighting, and also noted that LED bulbs can be powered by solar panels, making electric lighting feasible for the 1.5 billion people who aren’t connected to a power grid.
The development of blue LEDs was a complicated process, but you’ll find a compact explanation at Geeks Are Sexy.