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Premio Nobel a Nakamura

7 October 2014

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2014 to: Isamu Akasaki, Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan and Nagoya University, Japan. Hiroshi Amano, Nagoya University, Japan and Shuji Nakamura, University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

“For the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”

 New light to illuminate the world

This year’s Nobel Laureates are rewarded for having invented a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source – the blue light-emitting diode (LED). In the spirit of Alfred Nobel the Prize rewards an invention of greatest benefit to mankind; using blue LEDs, white light can be created in a new way. With the advent of LED lamps we now have more long-lasting and more efficient alternatives to older light sources.

When Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura produced bright blue light beams from their semi-conductors in the early 1990s, they triggered a funda-mental transformation of lighting technology. Red and green diodes had been around for a long time but without blue light, white lamps could not be created. Despite considerable efforts, both in the scientific community and in industry, the blue LED had remained a challenge for three decades.

They succeeded where everyone else had failed. Akasaki worked together with Amano at the University of Nagoya, while Nakamura was employed at Nichia Chemicals, a small company in Tokushima. Their inventions were revolutionary. Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps.

White LED lamps emit a bright white light, are long-lasting and energy-efficient. They are constantly improved, getting more efficient with higher luminous flux (measured in lumen) per unit electrical input power (measured in watt). The most recent record is just over 300 lm/W, which can be compared to 16 for regular light bulbs and close to 70 for fluorescent lamps. As about one fourth of world electricity consumption is used for lighting purposes, the LEDs contribute to saving the Earth’s resources. Materials consumption is also diminished as LEDs last up to 100,000 hours, compared to 1,000 for incandescent bulbs and 10,000 hours for fluorescent lights.

The LED lamp holds great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids: due to low power requirements it can be powered by cheap local solar power.

The invention of the blue LED is just twenty years old, but it has already contributed to create white light in an entirely new manner to the benefit of us all.

Cuba encuentra oro en tierras ñandutíes

Autor:  Daymaris Martínez Rubio

 

Con un Oro, un Bronce y una Mención honorífica, Cuba se ubicó entre los grandes de la XIX Olimpiada Iberoamericana de Física (OibF), una de las más importantes competencias de conocimientos en el área -según informó la delegación antillana en Asunción, Paraguay, sede del evento clausurado hace apenas unas horas-.

Tras la “sequía" relativa (equipos incompletos debido a trabas financieras) que siguió a la XIV edición de Santiago de Chile, en 2009, la Isla regresó a lo más alto del podio por intermedio del cienfueguero Michel Romero, su primer medallista dorado del último quinquenio y sexto en una década. La cosecha fue ampliada por los tuneros Miriel Alberto Ávila y José Luis González, merecedores de un Bronce y una Mención honorífica, respectivamente.

Desde su debut en la primera OibF celebrada en Bogotá, Colombia, en 1991, Cuba ha ocupado planos estelares en el medallero junto a tradicionales potencias como Argentina, Brasil y España; aunque su más brillante desempeño data de 2003, durante la VIII edición celebrada en La Habana, cuando, con actuación perfecta, la Isla conquistara cuatro preseas doradas de cuatro posibles.

La OibF es una competencia anual, que incluye entre sus propósitos esenciales el fomento del estudio de la Física y el desarrollo de talentos entre estudiantes de la enseñanza media de los países miembros de la Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos para la Educación, la Ciencia y la Cultura (OEI).