An American and two Japanese scientists have won the Nobel Prize for Physics for inventing a new energy-efficient light source, leading to the creation of modern LED light bulbs.
Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan, and Japanese-born US citizen Shuji Nakamura, won the prize for developing the blue light-emitting diode (LED) – the piece that now allows manufacturers to produce white-light lamps.
The arrival of such lamps is changing the way homes and workplaces are lit, offering a longer-lasting and more efficient alternative to the incandescent bulbs pioneered by Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison at the end of the 19th century.
In addition to lighting buildings, LED bulbs are transforming lamps in cars and the technology is also used as a light source in smartphones and computer screens.
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