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Asia Today ISSN 1861-4604 Monday, February 19, 2018

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Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to inventors of blue LEDs

The team of Japanese scientists

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STOCKHOLM, Norway -- Over 20 years after their invention, the team of Japanese scientists behind blue colored light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, has been recognized with the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Found in everything from light bulbs to televisions to cellphones, LEDs are typically clustered in trios of red, blue and green. While the invention of red and green LEDs came easy by comparison, blue LEDs, the fundamentally necessary final ingredient to white-emitting energy efficient lights.

"What's fascinating is that a lot of big companies really tried to do this and they failed," prize committee chair Per Delsing explained to the BBC.

"But these guys persisted and they tried and tried again - and eventually they actually succeeded."

With each passing year Professors Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura's invention grows in relevance as LEDs replace traditional light bulbs in an increasingly environmentally-conscious world.

"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%," noted Dr. Frances Saunders, president of the Institute of Physics.

"Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura's research has made this possible. This is physics research that is having a direct impact on the grandest of scales, helping protect our environment, as well as turning up in our everyday electronic gadgets."Matt Bradwell

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