UCSB’s Shuji Nakamura wins Nobel Prize in physics for the blue LED
From the cell phones of protesters in Hong Kong to the energy-efficient lightbulbs at the hardware store, there’s a pretty good chance that this year’s physics Nobel prize-winning invention is in your everyday life. The blue light-emitting diode (LED) is found in the screens of millions of phones as well as a cost saving replacement for incandescent light. Today, the Nobel Prize in physics was awarded to the three scientists who made this revolutionary discovery.
Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and UCSB’s Shuji Nakamura were all working on the a blue LED in Japan back in the 1990s. At that time, red and green LEDs had already existed for decades, but blue proved elusive. Remember that red, green and blue light together create white light, so for lightbulbs and full-color screens, the missing blue LED was crucial.
To get LEDs to glow blue, the researchers had to create a new material. LEDs emit light when electrons pass through layers of semiconducting material—the color of light depends on the composition of that material. Akasaki, Amano, and Nakamura ended up making blue LEDs out of the element gallium.
In 1925 Coca Cola made a lucky watch fob in the shape of a swastika with the slogan, “Drink Coca Cola In Bottles 5¢.”.
At that time, the Swastika was still a symbol of ‘Good Luck’ taken from the ‘Whirling Log’ used in the US by Native American Navajo, Papago, Apache, and Hopi tribes.
(Also the symbol used throughout history by the Celts, Indians and Greeks amongst other nationalities and religions).
The word swastika came from the Sanskrit word svastika, meaning any lucky or auspicious object, and in particular a mark made on persons and things to denote auspiciousness, or any piece of luck or well-being.
It is composed of su- meaning “good, well” and asti “being”. Suasti thus means “well-being.” The suffix -ka either forms a diminutive or intensifies the verbal meaning, and suastika might thus be translated literally as “that which is associated with well-being,”.