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2014-10-07. Invention of Blue LEDs Wins Physics Nobel.

posted Oct 7, 2014, 4:51 PM by Angela Miller   [ updated Oct 14, 2014, 9:51 AM by Alan Gould ]
For GSS Energy Use chapter 7. Excerpt: [T]he first blue LEDs in the early 1990s  ...enabled a new generation of bright, energy-efficient white lamps, as well as colour LED screens. ...Nobel Prizes were established to recognise developments that delivered "the greatest benefit to mankind". ...Although red and green LEDs had been around for many years, blue LEDs were a long-standing challenge for scientists in both academia and industry. Without them, the three colours could not be mixed to produce the white light we now see in LED-based computer and TV screens. Furthermore, the high-energy blue light could be used to excite phosphorus and directly produce white light - the basis of the next generation of light bulb. ...White LED lamps...use much less energy than both incandescent and fluorescent lamps. That improvement arises because LEDs convert electricity directly into photons of light, instead of the wasteful mixture of heat and light generated inside traditional, incandescent bulbs. ...Commenting on the news, the president of the Institute of Physics, Dr Frances Saunders, emphasised that energy-efficient lamps form an important part of the effort to help slow carbon dioxide emissions worldwide. "With 20% of the world's electricity used for lighting, it's been calculated that optimal use of LED lighting could reduce this to 4%," she said. ...LED lamps have the potential to help more than 1.5 billion people around the world who do not have access to electricity grids - because they are efficient enough to run on cheap, local solar power. ..."It pleases me greatly, because this is good science but it's also useful science. It's making a huge difference to energy savings."... http://www.bbc.com/news/science-environment-29518521. By Jonathan Webb, BBC News.  See also http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/08/science/isamu-akasaki-hiroshi-amano-and-shuji-nakamura-awarded-the-nobel-prize-in-physics.html