Nobel Physics Prize Honors Blue LED Technology

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The Nobel Prize Committee celebrated a blue-light special this morning.

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to three researchers—one from the U.S. and two from Japan—for their decades-long work in developing light-emitting diodes. Their work spurred the development of LED technology that is now commonplace in smartphones, computer screens and millions of homes across the planet.

The prize goes to Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and naturalized U.S. citizen Shuji Nakamura.

"They succeeded where everyone else had failed," said a statement from the Nobel committee. "Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps."

The three scientists will share the $1.1 million prize.

"It is very satisfying to see that my dream of LED lighting has become a reality," said the 60-year-old Nakamura in a statement released by the University of California, Santa Barbara, where he is a professor. "I hope that energy-efficient LED light bulbs will help reduce energy use and lower the cost of lighting worldwide."