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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Nobel Prize in Physics goes to 2 Japanese and 1 American - Blue LED

It you have an LED TV or computer monitor, you have this year's group of Nobel Prize winners to thank. Having a blue LED along with the other two primary colors, red and green, allows one to have the pixels necessary to make white light and all other colors for pictures. The great thing about LED lighting of any kind is the large drop in electrical energy necessary for the system. While presently some 20% of the world's energy is used for lighting, LEDs may drop this to about 4%! This is the sort of practical application to better the world we need to see more of, and that is celebrated with the Nobel Prizes.

The Nobel for Medicine and Physiology goes to and American and two Norwegians, for their discovery of how the brain figures out our positioning - that is, how we know where we are! Pretty cool stuff! Oh, and one of the three is indeed a woman.

The Nobel for Chemistry goes to two Americans and one German, for developing super-fast fluorescent optical microscopes that can attain high resolution at the nanoscale (i.e. can watch molecules!). Not bad!

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