Friday, October 12, 2012

LED: 50th Year of Discovery

Did you know that last October 9 marks the 50th year of discovery of LED?

Fifty years ago, GE scientist Dr. Nick Holonyak Jr. (who was then 33 yrs. old) invented the very first light-emitting diode (LED). GE colleagues used to call it “the magic one” since it’s light, visible to the human eye, and unlike infrared lasers.

Dr. Holonyak is now 83 yrs. old and he recounted the competitive forces that drove him into a moment of discovery in a GE laboratory. He said that if others can make a laser, he can definitely make a better one because he have made an alloy that is in color red. Thus, visible and would let him see what’s happening, while others are stuck with infrared.

Today, LEDs are being used in countless applications from mundane to mission critical. Dr. Holonyak calls LED as the “ultimate lamp” because “the current itself is the light”. Hence, lower losses and higher efficiencies than other lighting technologies.

To read more about Dr. Holonyak’s amazing discovery, click this link.
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