Inventor of the LED

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nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,885

Why does this guy not have a Nobel prize when the 2014 Nobel physics prize was for blue LEDs?

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e48f1b28d0614585ac46d2ce7df43c3f/led-inventor-feels-work-bypassed-nobel

But Tuesday's Nobel Prize in physics to the men who created the first blue LED prompted the retired University of Illinois professor to question why that LED is worthy while his — the very first — is not. In an interview with The Associated Press in the Urbana, Illinois, assisted-living facility where he resides, the 85-year-old Holonyak said the blue LED would never have happened without the work he and others did in the early 1960s.

"The LED as you know it today comes from us," he said, sitting next to his bed thumbing through the book "The Bright Stuff," about him and his invention. "The blue LED? You cannot get to it, cannot (without that)."
http://spectrum.ieee.org/semiconductors/optoelectronics/red-hot
 
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rogs

Joined Aug 28, 2009
279
The history of science is full of this kind of thing --although to be fair, the Nobel Committee have often seen sense in the past.
In 1948 Shockley tried to take all the glory for the invention of the transistor -- to the exclusion of Brattain and Bardeen
(you can see something on the patent 'battle' here: http://www.pbs.org/transistor/background1/events/patbat.html )
In the end though all 3 shared the Nobel prize in 1956......

And earlier ,Fleming with Pencillin.....although again Florey and Chain did share the actual Nobel prize.

So why not this time?........I guess it's the old story..it's not what you know (or did) -- but who you know.
I suppose the fact that 3 is the maximum number of people that can share a Nobel Prize might have made things a bit difficult as well !....

I'll bet that some of the most important things that affect our lives today have been credited to the wrong people... although who has had their thunder stolen we'll never know of course. These 'prima donnas' who do steal the credit usually manage to cover their tracks well.....

I wonder if these recipients turned around at any time and said 'what about Holonyak?'.......hmmm....

Of course, if we're being pedantic then I suppose you need to consider Oleg Losev.. and even Marconi's assistant Henry Round in 1907 when it comes to the 'discovery' of LEDs, but I would have thought Holonyak was a key player in the field of LEDs... no wonder he feels 'bypassed'!
 
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Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,885
http://spectrum.ieee.org/tech-talk/geek-life/history/rcas-forgotten-work-on-the-blue-led
But there’s more to this story. “The background is kind of being swept under the rug,” says Benjamin Gross, a research fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia. “All three of these gentlemen deserve their prize, but there is a prehistory to the LED.” In fact, almost two decades before the Japanese scientists had finished the work that would lead to their Nobel Prize, a young twenty-something materials researcher at RCA named Herbert Paul Maruska had already turned on an LED that glowed blue.
http://online.wsj.com/articles/benjamin-gross-how-america-lighted-the-way-for-a-japanese-nobel-1412900717
http://www.sslighting.net/news/features/maruska_blue_led_history.pdf
 
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wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,228
Why does this guy not have a Nobel prize when the 2014 Nobel physics prize was for blue LEDs?
When I was a kid and starting on a path to be a scientist, I dreamt of one day perhaps winning a Nobel prize. Now, as an adult, I am saddened by what the Nobel prize has become. They occasionally go to the "right" recipients, maybe more often than not, but a Peace prize for Obama just 11 days after he was first elected?! And scam artist Al Gore? Good grief.

As a fellow Illini alum, the snubbing of Holonyak (a U. of Illinois graduate) just serves to further embitter me towards the Nobel.

If I were to win one, I would be very conflicted and might even refuse it - a lifelong dream - in protest. Bastards.
 

Thread Starter

nsaspook

Joined Aug 27, 2009
6,885
Actually, Russian Oleg Losev created the first LED in 1927. See:-

http://www.nanophotonics.org.uk/niz/publications/zheludev-2007-ltl.pdf
He deserves credit for it's theory of operation and the "Light Relay" but his invention wasn't really a practical PN junction device. It was really electroluminescence from silicon carbide in a contact device with a extremely low efficiency.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oleg_Losev#Light-emitting_diodes
On the shoulders of giants.
 

rogs

Joined Aug 28, 2009
279
Actually, Russian Oleg Losev created the first LED in 1927.
You'll see I already mentioned Oleg Losev in my post above, where I also mention Henry Round who was probably the first to 'discover' the LED effect, even if he - like Losev - didn't actually produce anything really useful.

Holonyak's work is in a different category of 'usefulness' compared to those two. In fact, without his pioneering work, then the work for which this Nobel Prize has been awarded probably couldn't have happened.
Which is all he's really saying........
 
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