今年のノーベル物理学賞に赤﨑勇、天野浩、中村修二の3博士(日本人2名+米国人)が選出・・・物理・化学方面では日本で最後かも?

赤﨑勇・名古屋大名誉教授

天野浩・名古屋大教授

中村修二・カリフォルニア大学サンタバーバラ校教授

ノーベル物理学賞の受賞おめでとうございます!!!

3博士の受賞はGaN(窒化ガリウム)結晶化による青色LED(高輝度青色発光ダイオード)の開発が認められてのことだそうです。

 

ところで、私は“日本人2名+米国人”と書きました。ノーベル財団の公式リリースにも海外での報道にも赤﨑博士と天野教授は日本人、中村教授はアメリカ人として紹介されていますし、それが正しい表記の仕方だからです。徳島大大学院修了後に日亜化学工業に就職してから様々な経緯と軋轢を経てカリフォルニア大学サンタバーバラ校(UCSB)の教授に就任された中村修二博士はUCSBへの赴任の際にアメリカの市民権を取得されましたし、日本の現在の国籍法では二重国籍を認めていないため、法的には米国籍取得と同時に本人の意思とは無関係に自動的に日本国籍を喪失したと見做されるからです。通称“404特許”と呼ばれるツーフローMOCVDの特許権に関する日亜化学とのイザコザと東京高裁が下した愚かな裁定(企業優位の和解勧告)についてはググればいくらでも情報が沸いて出てきますので、

 

今年の件でノーベル物理学賞を受賞した大和民族の方は10名となりました。‘日本人’としなかったのはたいていの人が無意識的にか或いは都合のよい際に‘日本人=生まれながらの日本国籍保持者’と思ってるからで、二重国籍を認めていない日本の国籍法上では、米国籍を取得している南部陽一郎博士と中村教授は自動的に日本国籍を喪失していて厳密に‘日本人’とは言い難いからです。

更に付け加えるなら、わざわざ「物理・化学方面では日本で最後かもしれない?」と書いたのには、現在の日本での学問研究の在り方を思うと暗澹とならざるをえないからです。ノーベル賞で採り上げられる業績は公表から2〜30年以上の長期間のスパンがあるのがほとんどです。しかし、私よりも事情通の方々なら私以上に痛感されていることと思いますが、今の日本で学問の府たる大学や公共研究機関をとりまく環境、それから企業体質、年々陰が増す一方です。例えば理研の暗黒面が露呈した騒動が直近で再発したばかりですし、文科省が音頭をとって文系のとりわけ人文科学系の学部・学科をターゲットに潰しにかかっている動きもあります。哲学・数学・物理などでの実りに時間のかかる基礎研究は軽視され、あるいは行政による予算と人的リソース等々での歪な配分と悪しき風習・権力構造が正されることは無く、優秀明晰で愚直なまでに信念の強い人ほど居場所がなくなり、頭脳流出に歯止めがかからなくなってきているツケは、いずれタップリ払わされることになるのではないでしょうか。

 

The Nobel Prize in Physics 2014【ノーベル財団プレスリリース 2014年10月7日】

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Physics for 2014 to

Isamu Akasaki
Meijo University, Nagoya, Japan and Nagoya University, Japan

Hiroshi Amano
Nagoya University, Japan

and

Shuji Nakamura
University of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA

“for the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources”

New light to illuminate the world

This year’s Nobel Laureates are rewarded for having invented a new energy-efficient and environment-friendly light source – the blue light-emitting diode (LED). In the spirit of Alfred Nobel the Prize rewards an invention of greatest benefit to mankind; using blue LEDs, white light can be created in a new way. With the advent of LED lamps we now have more long-lasting and more efficient alternatives to older light sources.

When Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura produced bright blue light beams from their semi-conductors in the early 1990s, they triggered a funda-mental transformation of lighting technology. Red and green diodes had been around for a long time but without blue light, white lamps could not be created. Despite considerable efforts, both in the scientific community and in industry, the blue LED had remained a challenge for three decades.

They succeeded where everyone else had failed. Akasaki worked together with Amano at the University of Nagoya, while Nakamura was employed at Nichia Chemicals, a small company in Tokushima. Their inventions were revolutionary. Incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century; the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps.

White LED lamps emit a bright white light, are long-lasting and energy-efficient. They are constantly improved, getting more efficient with higher luminous flux (measured in lumen) per unit electrical input power (measured in watt). The most recent record is just over 300 lm/W, which can be compared to 16 for regular light bulbs and close to 70 for fluorescent lamps. As about one fourth of world electricity consumption is used for lighting purposes, the LEDs contribute to saving the Earth’s resources. Materials consumption is also diminished as LEDs last up to 100,000 hours, compared to 1,000 for incandescent bulbs and 10,000 hours for fluorescent lights.

The LED lamp holds great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids: due to low power requirements it can be powered by cheap local solar power.

The invention of the blue LED is just twenty years old, but it has already contributed to create white light in an entirely new manner to the benefit of us all.

 

American and 2 Japanese Physicists Share Nobel for Work on LED Lights
【ニューヨーク・タイムズ:DENNIS OVERBYE 2014年10月7日】

Three physicists have been awarded the Nobel Prize for revolutionizing the way the world is lighted.

The 2014 physics award went to Isamu Akasaki and Hiroshi Amano of Japan and Shuji Nakamura of the University of California, Santa Barbara, for “the invention of efficient blue light-emitting diodes, which has enabled bright and energy-saving white light sources.”

The three scientists, working together and separately, found a way to produce blue light beams from semiconductors in the early 1990s. Others had produced red and green diodes, but without blue diodes, white light could not be produced, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said on Tuesday morning in its prize citation.

“They succeeded where everyone else had failed,” the academy said.

Their work has spurred the creation of a whole new industry. The committee that chose the winners said light-emitting diodes, or LEDs, would be the lighting source of the 21st century, just as the incandescent bulb illuminated the 20th.

The three scientists will split a prize of $1.1 million, to be awarded in Stockholm on Dec. 10.

Dr. Akasaki, 85, of Meijo University and Nagoya University, and Dr. Amano, 54, of Nagoya University, are Japanese. Dr. Nakamura, 60, is American. Awakened by a phone call from the Swedish academy, he described it in a news conference as “unbelievable.”

In its announcement, the academy recalled Alfred Nobel’s desire that his prize be awarded for something that benefited humankind, noting that one-fourth of the world’s electrical energy consumption goes to producing light. This, it said, was a prize more for invention than for discovery.

Frances Saunders, president of the Institute of Physics, a worldwide scientific organization based in London, agreed with those sentiments. Noting in an email statement that 2015 is the International Year of Light, she said, “This is physics research that is having a direct impact on the grandest of scales, helping protect our environment, as well as turning up in our everyday electronic gadgets.”

In Africa, millions of diode lamps that run on solar power have been handed out to replace polluting kerosene lamps.

For the same amount of energy consumption, LED bulbs produce four times the light of a fluorescent bulb and nearly 20 times the light of an incandescent bulb.

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LED bulbs are also more durable, lasting 10 times as long as a fluorescent bulb and 100 times as long as an incandescent bulb.

Light-emitting diodes are already ubiquitous — in pockets and purses, in smartphones, as well as in televisions, lasers and optical storage devices.

And their future is vaster still. “The LED lamp holds great promise for increasing the quality of life for over 1.5 billion people around the world who lack access to electricity grids,” the Nobel committee said. “Due to low power requirements, it can be powered by cheap local solar power.”

The work rewarded on Tuesday was the latest step in an evolution that began with Thomas Edison’s burning out light-bulb candidates in his Menlo Park laboratory in the late 19th century.
Continue reading the main story Continue reading the main story
Continue reading the main story

Incandescent bulbs use electricity to produce heat in a glowing filament that emits a comparatively small amount of light; fluorescent lights use a gas.

Light-emitting diodes are based on the same quantum magic that gave birth to computers, smartphones, transistor radios and all other electronic devices.

The diodes are no bigger than a grain of sand and consist of sandwiches of semiconducting materials. When an electric field is applied, negative and positive charges meet in the middle layer and combine to produce photons of light. The color of the light produced depends on the type of semiconductor.

Nobelmaster180

Nick Holonyak Jr. of the University of Illinois, who invented the first red-light diode in 1962, has called the LED the “ultimate lamp” because “the current itself is the light.”

Red- and green-emitting diodes have been around for a long time, but nobody knew how to make a blue one, which was needed for blending with the others to create white light. The amount of information that can be packed into a light wave increases as its wavelength shortens, making blue the color of choice for conveying information.

That is where the new laureates, working independently, came in. The key was to grow high-quality crystals of gallium nitride, a semiconductor for producing blue light — a process that had frustrated researchers.

Dr. Akasaki first tried to grow the crystals in the late 1960s as a young research associate at Matsushita Research Institute in Tokyo. It was not until 1986 that he and Dr. Amano, who was then his graduate student, succeeded in growing high-quality crystals on a layer of sapphire coated with aluminum nitride, and found out their properties were enhanced when they were scanned with an electron beam.

The royalties from their work subsequently funded the construction of a whole new research institute, the Nagoya University Akasaki Institute.

07nobel1_nowmaster180

Dr. Nakamura, then at the Nichia Corporation, a chemical engineering and manufacturing company, succeeded in growing his own crystals, improving on the other two scientists’ method. In 2006 he was awarded the Millennium Technology Prize of one million euros (about $1.3 million) for inventing the first efficient blue-light laser, opening the way for things like Blu-ray players.

Dr. Nakamura left Nichia in 1999 to join the University of California, Santa Barbara. Two years later, in a shocking challenge to Japanese traditions of subservience, he sued the company for 20 billion yen, $193 million at the time, saying he deserved a share of royalties for his inventions. Nichia had given him an award of 20,000 yen — about $200 — for his contributions to the company.

A court awarded him the full amount, but the company appealed. In 2005 he and the company settled for a payment of 843 million yen, or about $8.1 million.

As is often the case with Nobel Prizes, not everybody was happy on Tuesday. The prize can be awarded to no more than three people, and Dr. Holonyak expressed dismay that various American scientists who had laid the framework were left out.

“We’re always tugging and pulling,” he said in a telephone interview from Illinois. “Nobody is smart enough to know all this.”

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