Three Japanese physicists have won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics, it was announced this morning.
Professors Hiroshi Amano, Isamu Akasaki, and Shuji Nakamura invented the first blue light LED in the early 1990s. They did this by combining green and red LEDs with blue light.
The breakthrough was significant because it paved the way for the creation of a new range of bright white lamps that were energy efficient.
At a press conference following the announcement, Nakamura said it was “unbelievable” that they had won the prize.
Professor Per Delsing, committee chair of the prize, commented: "What's fascinating is that a lot of big companies really tried to do this and they failed. But these guys persisted and they tried and tried again - and eventually they actually succeeded."
Professor Sir Colin Humphreys from the University of Cambridge said: "This is a tremendous achievement and Akasaki, Amano and Nakamura are very worthy winners. Their invention of efficient blue LEDs has paved the way for the development of bright, cost effective and, importantly, energy efficient white lighting."