Three winners of Nobel Prize in physics, from left, Meijo University Prof. Isamu Akasaki, Nagoya University Prof. Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura, 60, of the University of California, Oct. 7, 2014. (AP Photo/Kyodo News)
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An American and two Japanese scientists won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics Tuesday for inventing a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source, leading to the creation of modern LED light bulbs.Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Japanese-born U.S. citizen Shuji Nakamura won the prize for developing the blue light-emitting diode – the missing piece that now allows manufacturers to produce white-light lamps.The arrival of such lamps is changing the way homes and workplaces are lit, offering a longer-lasting and more efficient alternative to the incandescent bulbs pioneered by Joseph Swan and Thomas Edison at the end of the 19th century.In addition to lighting buildings, LED bulbs are transforming lamps in cars and the technology is also used as a light source in smartphones and computer screens.LED lamps last 10 times longer than fluorescent bulbs and 100 times longer than traditional incandescent tungsten filament bulbs.
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