Tuesday, October 7, 2014

NOBEL PRIZE FOR PHYSICS LIGHTS UP OUR LIVES

When I was in Jr. High it seems we knew who invented most of the world's industrial and medical inventions. The most important developments of the Industrial Revolution, facilitated major advancements in mining, manufacturing, agriculture, transportation, medicine and technology. Names like Thomas Edison, Samuel Morse,  Alexander Graham Bell, The Wright Brothers, Robert Fulton & Eli Whitney and their contributions race to the top of my mind,

Keeping up with who is responsible for the many breakthroughs in the 20th and 21st century would be more of a daunting task. Banting & Best, Alexander Fleming, Frank Whittle, Enrico Fermi, Jonas Salk & Douglas Englebart come to mind. However, I have not a clue who invented refined or revolutionized many of the products that I use on a daily basis. Who invented the stereo, the keyboard I am typing on, the World Wide Web or the technology behind my 55 inch 3-D Smart TV (already obsolete)

Today Shuji Nakamura and Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics today.  Nichia Corporation rewarded Nakamura with a pat on the back and $200 for inventing the blue light-emitting-diodes, or LEDs which have revolutionized how we generate white light and are replacing Edison's incandescent light bulb.

He left Japan and became an American. He sued his old company and the pair settled for $8.1 million. The question still lingered whether it was the individual or the company that was behind the invention.

21 years later the issues appears settled, Nakamuracan add a Nobel Prize to his settlement.

According to US-based Winter Green Research, the LED lighting market will grow by 45 per cent per year until 2019 and go from a value of $4.8bn in 2012 to $42bn in 2019.


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