Isamu Akasaki, 1929–, Japanese physicist, Ph.D. Nagoya Univ., Japan, 1964. He is a professor at Meijo Univ. and a distinguished professor at Nagoya Univ. in Japan. Akasaki shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics with Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), which has enabled the development of bright, energy-saving white light sources. The three scientists, Akasaki and Amano working together at Nagoya Univ. and Nakamura working independently, found a way to produce blue light from semiconductors in the early 1990s. This allowed white light LED sources to be developed through the combination of blue LEDs with pre-existing red and green LEDs. The invention has allowed the incandescent bulbs that lit the world of the 20th cent. to be replaced by energy-saving and more environmentally friendly LED light sources.
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