TOKYO: Japanese Nobel laureate Isamu Akasaki, who won the physics prize for pioneering energy-efficient LED lighting — a weapon against global warming and poverty — has died aged 92, his university said Friday. Akasaki won the 2014 prize with two other scientists, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura. Together they developed the blue light-emitting diode, described as a “revolutionary” invention by the Nobel jury.
He died of pneumonia on Thursday morning at a hospital in the city of Nagoya, according to a statement on the website of Meijo University, where Akasaki had been a professor.
LED lamps last for tens of thousands of hours and use just a fraction of energy compared with the incandescent lightbulb pioneered by Thomas Edison in the 19th century.
Born in 1929 in Kagoshima in southern Japan, Akasaki graduated from the prestigious Kyoto University in 1952. After working for several years as a researcher at Kobe Kogyo Corporation — now Fujitsu — he began his academic career at Nagoya University in 1959.