Nobel Prize 2014 – The Struggle for Lighting Everyday Life

One of the six Nobel Prizes that are globally awarded every year is devoted for inventions in Physics. This year “2014”  the prize was awarded for efficient blue Light Emitting Diodes “LED” which enables the production of bright and energy-saving white light sources. “LED”, used in the scientific and market communities, is replacing other sources of light with tectonic changes and transformations in the global lighting technology.

The interest of humans for lighting started already with the discovery of fire and the earliest forms of artificial lighting were made from natural grease-filled materials with fiber wick.  Ancient Greek philosophers were credited for the first peculations (500 BC) about the nature of light, followed by the first correctly attributed  vision to the passive reception of light reflected from objects by Ibn al-Haytham (1038 AD). The 17th century witnessed several progress in compound microscopes and refracting telescopes with advances in astronomy, e.g. by Galileo, Kepler and Snell. Further progress in nature of light was obtained from a long controversy between two theories: wave theory by Huygens (1629-1695); and particle theory of Newton (1642-1727). It was not until 1892 when the invention of the incandescent light bulbs, wire filament heated to high temperatures by electric current, were successfully completed by Thomas Edison. Through further advances in physics during 20th century, new knowledge and understanding was gained ( not only what regards the nature of light but also developing materials and laboratory procedures for production of artificial light by different types of lamps, e.g. ballast, fluorescent, compact fluorescent, halogen and LED ( LED-lamps, in addition of being most energy effective artificial light sources, have several exceptional versatile and advantages for smart mobile application and integration in renewable energy-based timely applications.

Many physical phenomena exiting in nature, such as light, has fascinated humans to search about their origin and some of us went more in depth to find ways to study them and even re-produce them not only on small laboratory scales but also for much more wider everyday life applications. This is how our science and technology keep advancing and transforming observations and abstract ideas to understandable and comprehensible realities with useful applications for human benefits. Innovations keep generating new inventions replacing less efficient, less accurate and less secure inventions to more efficient, accurate and safe products. This evolution in science and technology is important, essential and imperative for improving the quality of life on earth and for achieving sustainable socio-economic developments. This is not a straightforward process free from difficulties, constrains, disappointments, failure, mobility, pain, and even threats, accidents and disasters and above all the continuous and hard struggle to find the necessary resources, investments and partners. Some of these can have solutions and remedies through preparedness, lobbies and also systematic, gradual and continuous build-up of pre-required and introductory knowledge as well as collaboration and teaming up in consortiums.

Science and technology nowadays, also market dynamics, are characterized by being trans-disciplinary with diffuse barriers between disciplines, so classification to physics, chemistry, physiology/medicine and economy is introducing increasing pressures not only on researchers, management of research infra-structures and projects, top peer-reviewed journals and research-funding organization but also on career-development-plans, involvement and shaping of early-stage researcher as well as construction and management of higher education in general. Alfred Nobel’s Will ( ( stated that the prizes “shall be annually awarded to those who, during the preceding year shall have conferred the greatest benefit on mankind” within the disciplines of physics, chemistry, physiology/medicine, economy, literature and peace. With the new era of trans-disciplinary and trans-sectorial requirements for achieving sustainable socio-economic developments new possibilities for awarding the prize are to be expected for joint inventions by physicists and chemists; physicists, chemists and physiologists; chemists and physiologists; physicists and physiologists; ……. etc as long as the inventions are contributing to the greatest benefit to mankind. Classification into disciplines is just to give equal chances and terms to all disciplines contributing in “the greatest benefit on mankind” including existing and emerging nexuses (water-energy, environment-medicine, environment-economy, …. where underlying sciences can be combinations of physics, chemistry, physiology or even economy for example) with impacts on “the greatest benefit on mankind” in particular life quality and the conservation and protection of natural resources. The scientific career, engineering endeavor, entrepreneurship, mobility, diverse, dynamic and global engagement of Alfred Nobel and his concern about safety and peace as well as his transparency, cultural, literature and art interests have all in all finally resulted in unifying humans towards the neutral goals of the hard issues of science and technology with the soft face of humanity as reflected in literature and peace (

Tuning the mission of science, technology and economy towards achieving sustainable socio-economic developments has to be completed by global instruments to foster mutual respect across geographical, cultural and religious boarders for achieving peace within and between different generations (


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