The 2014 Nobel Prize in physics

  • #51
russ_watters
Mentor
20,572
7,232
Average CFL life in a typical household is about 3500 hours
dgloff said:
That's probably true after they've been in service for a few days. Three CFLs from the last package of six I purchased failed in the first 3 days. Just sayin'
Yes, as I've said I have had such issues as well. Here's hoping the advertised lifespans of LEDs are closer to their realities -- but product lifespans rarely live up to their lab-test condition ratings.
 
  • #52
OmCheeto
Gold Member
2,145
2,620

Very interesting.

I like the last paragraph of the first article:

Maruska is happy to see his story getting a fresh look again, and there’s no hard feelings on who the Nobel Prize went to. “These three guys really deserve the credit,” he says. “It’s like I say to people: they had been working on the steam engine for 100 years, but they never could make one that really worked, until James Watt showed up. It’s the guy who makes it really work who deserves the Nobel Prize. They certainly deserve it.”
Mr. Maruska's Facebook page is open, and he's been talking about this since the prize announcement.

Wait a minute. Mr. Maruska listed his patent number, so it's easy to check his claim:

Gallium nitride metal-semiconductor junction light emitting diode
Patent # 3,819,974

Undoped gallium nitride always occurs highly n-type (n 10 cm) and thus far has not been made conducting p-type. However, a deep acceptor such as zinc has been utilized to compensate the donors and produce insulating gallium nitride crystals. This dopant can be introduced during the growth of the gallium nitride crystal. When the dopant is introduced after initial deposition of undoped material, an i-n junction is formed. In the prior art, red, yellow, green and blue light emitting diodes have been obtained with zinc doped insulating regions forming i-n junctions.

OBJECTS AND SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION It is a general object of the present invention to provide a violet light emitting diode.

He patented a violet LED.

I cry FOUL!
 
  • #53
atyy
Science Advisor
14,434
2,731
I cry FOUL!


Whose? The Nobel Committee or Maruska?
 
  • #54
OmCheeto
Gold Member
2,145
2,620
Yes, as I've said I have had such issues as well. Here's hoping the advertised lifespans of LEDs are closer to their realities -- but product lifespans rarely live up to their lab-test condition ratings.

Well, "efficiency" also has economic consequences:

per Wiki:
The Centennial Light is the world's longest-lasting light bulb. ... the bulb is at least 113 years old and has been turned off only a handful of times. ... It is often cited as evidence for the existence of planned obsolescence in later-produced light bulbs.​

You can't very well run a profitable business if your product lasts longer than most humans.

By my calculations, that bulb has been burning for 990,000 hours.

Wow.
 
  • #55
OmCheeto
Gold Member
2,145
2,620

Whose? The Nobel Committee or Maruska?

Neither.

I call foul on the headline: Nobel Shocker: RCA Had the First Blue LED in 1972

Maruska, et al, patented a violet LED.

Blue is not violet.

Except in certain instances, where you are traveling near the speed of light. Which will, of course, lead to other arguments.
 
  • #57
atyy
Science Advisor
14,434
2,731
Neither.

I call foul on the headline: Nobel Shocker: RCA Had the First Blue LED in 1972

Maruska, et al, patented a violet LED.

Blue is not violet.

Ah, fair point. But I found the history informative. Now I am learning about the history of the steam engine. :)
 
  • #58
OmCheeto
Gold Member
2,145
2,620
Ah, fair point. But I found the history informative. Now I am learning about the history of the steam engine. :)
On the shoulders of giants.

Did you check out the "REFERENCED BY" section of the patent?

There appear to have been a lot* of people that stood upon Herbert's shoulders. :)

*103, to date.
 
  • Like
Likes atyy
  • #59
TumblingDice
Gold Member
472
47
But the LED light is not now and likely never will be a groundbreaking/revolutionary technology. We had electric lights for a century and efficient electric lights for decades before LEDs came around and not much changed with LEDs. LEDs are only slightly more efficient than fluorescents, so there is very little potential for them to have much of an impact.
We have had electric light bulbs for over a century, without much improvement in the incandescent or flourescent areas given the amount of time. When choosing a light for an application, you can select one option for 'temperature'/wavelengths. If it's incandescent you can choose a dual-filament three-way for fixed brightness levels, or go all-out for a dimmer switch. :w

About 18 months ago I learned about Philips Hue LED lamps from an article on Ars Technica. They're only sold by Apple directly, but they have no proprietary ties to Apple. They're expensive at $60/bulb, but I've added on slowly. The original bulbs have an odd trio of amber, magenta and greenish LEDs so they can specifically create everything from standard warm incandescent to brilliant cold white. Of course the three can be used to blend many more vivid color effects. Since then Philips has added "ambient" color lamps and "light strips", and these employ the customary red, green, blue LED combination for blending aesthetic ambient lighting effects.

I've grown my collection to 7 std/original bulbs, 3 ambient color lights, and one light strip. Did I mention the lights are all wireless/Wi-Fi controllable? The "bridge" talks to the lights in a wireless ZigBee protocol, but it takes commands through the network. I can control all lights using my iPad with an iOS app, or the ASUS tablet or GS3 cell phone with Android app when away from home. The cell's NFC feature allows lights to come on when I arrive home. From my front door, to the bedroom, in living areas and on the back patio, all lights can be set for utility or just plain old mood. The apps provide ability to create 'scenes' which are just setting color, levels and grouping lights into your own setups so you can control different lights in various ways as you plan, with a single tap or swipe.

I'm most pleased with how the combination of lighting around the big screen has worked out. I'll have to try the cell camera, or maybe charge up the Canon to see if I can get decent non-flash results that'll do justice to share with y'all.

I could go on about the seeming endless possibilities this technology will open up, and the only barriers to rapid evolutuon/revolution are cost and imagination!
 
  • #60
russ_watters
Mentor
20,572
7,232
Did I mention the lights are all wireless/Wi-Fi controllable?
How much extra power are they constantly using?
 
  • #61
TumblingDice
Gold Member
472
47
Posted info indicates average of .4W/bulb and max of .45W in standby mode. The bulbs also act as 'repeaters' to extend the overall reach of the coverage area with less power.
 
  • #62
russ_watters
Mentor
20,572
7,232
Posted info indicates average of .4W/bulb and max of .45W in standby mode. The bulbs also act as 'repeaters' to extend the overall reach of the coverage area with less power.
So if you use an 8W bulb for 4 hours a day, the additional power for the wifi adds 30%, making it essentially a 10.5W bulb. The fewer hours you use the bulb, the higher the penalty.
 
  • #63
TumblingDice
Gold Member
472
47
So if you use an 8W bulb for 4 hours a day, the additional power for the wifi adds 30%, making it essentially a 10.5W bulb. The fewer hours you use the bulb, the higher the penalty.
I wll trust your math implicitly. :) There are other aspects to consider, such as, these bulbs don't generate enough heat for you to feel by touch. That means lighting is also economic with air conditioning. I'm waiting for an inconspicuous combo motion/infrared detector to save energy by turning basic lighting on/off by occupancy. I'm thinking that the cool temp and low standby consumption offer more possibilities for savings.

Heck, I'll admit that I power up lights just for the color ambience. But I can turn lights on/off without getting up - I keep the iPad 'in reach' on the end table with theater remote, and my droid tablet on the nightstand next to bed.

Some features save power. Others maybe don't (they're just too damn convenient or whiz-bang to not enjoy!)

And then there's the programming potential for conveniences - like flashing a lamp where you are when an email arrives. Even an email from a specific address and/or specific words in the content. How much could being alerted to an important email be worth, while you get to enjoy whatever you'd like to be doing? :w There's a lot of support growing for open IFTTT (IF This, Then That) so imagination can do new things that just weren't possible before. That's how/why I'm expecting LEDs in lighting to revolutionize where and how we use lights.
 
  • #64
6,054
391
I am not saying "what would happen" if transistors could not exist, or what would have happened if transistors were not invented circa 1947.

Yes, you are, just in the next sentence. Slapping a "not" on your statement does not change its nature in this respect.

I am ignoring it because that is speculating about alternative timelines. I don't know what would have happened in the last 60 years if the transistor had not been invented any more than what would have happened if the Nazis had won World War II. Physics Forums is not the place for such speculations.

You started a speculation about an alternative timeline and made statements without any factual basis. It is about time that you admitted that and moved on. Ignoring facts, and saying that it is the PF rules or practices that make you very selective about what facts you accept or ignore in your fantasies just make them more ridiculous. Sorry if that sounds rude, but that is how I see it. I am not going to continue this discussion, just think about this.
 
  • #65
6,054
391
Coming back to the topic, just yesterday when shopping at a local supermarket, I remembered the LED thing and bought a flashlight as a "commemorative" gift for my little daughter (she is more into gadgets than dolls and other girly things :) ). The price was about 7 euro, including the three AAA batteries it runs on. It is amazing. It is brighter than any flashlight I have personally owned, much lighter, cheaper and more efficient than the brightest of them. If this is not a revolution in the illumination technology, then I do not know what is.
 
  • #66
nsaspook
Science Advisor
1,031
1,620
The long story of the blue led.
 

Attachments

  • blue_led.pdf
    334.2 KB · Views: 447
  • Like
Likes atyy
  • #67
collinsmark
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,939
1,389
Yes, you are, just in the next sentence. Slapping a "not" on your statement does not change its nature in this respect.

Perhaps some comparative examples might clear things up.

Consider a pressurized, light water, nuclear reactor used for an electrical power generation facility. You may use whatever nuclear fuel you can practically mine and/or create (with due consideration given to natural resource limitations of our earth and any power required to extract them) using any of today's technology, except that you cannot use uranium or any derivative of uranium byproducts (and that includes plutonium, since that is created by exposing 238U to a neutron flux. You may also not use uranium as a neutron source for the creation of your fuel). I claim with certainty that the plant will not generate a significant net power.

Consider an astronaut with a spacesuit, in space, on a spacewalk. Now tear the suit open and yank the astronaut out such that he is in space, but no longer wearing a spacesuit, and is at that point drifting in space. I claim with certainty that after that point the astronaut will not successfully recite the complete works of Shakespeare's sonnets.

Consider a modern day smartphone. Your goal is to reproduce that smartphone with the same form factor, power consumption, cost, and functionality except instead of using the several hundreds of millions (more likely billions these days) of transistors normally contained within that smartphone, you must substitute them with something else -- whatever is second best -- using only technology that is available today (no "future" technology allowed). I claim that within those form factor and power limitations, the result will fail and will not successfully connect to the network allowing you to download and display this thread.​

As of today, the next best thing to the switching transistor (probably an electromechanical switch based on nanotechnology) is still huge compared to the size of a transistor. And that would only work for the digital part of the cell phone. What about the analog portion of the phone, which includes such components as power amplifiers (PAs), low noise amplifiers (LNAs), mixers, etc? I can't even think of anything truly microscopic that you could use as a substitution. The end result wouldn't just be a slightly bigger smartphone, it would be a behemoth [comparatively speaking]. That's the second best.

That's not to say that are not any promising paradigm shifts for possible future technology. We might move transistors away from silicon to some other material such as graphene, or even molybdenite, but those still involve transistors, so you couldn't use those as a "substitute" for transistors, because those are still transistors (just not silicon based, but still are transistors).

As I've mentioned before, there is some promising work being done with carbon nanotubes, but that's not here yet. Perhaps it will prove to be a promising, practical, transistor substitute in the future, but it's not available today.

And by the way, I am not ignoring the 60 years of technological advancement since the invention of the transistor. Our society in the here and now (in this reality in which we live) has had 60 years to come up with something better. They've even had the incredible advantages of transistor based tools to aid the effort. And the second best is still a behemoth. Things might look promising for the future given some recent developments with carbon nananotubes for example, but we're not there yet.

You started a speculation about an alternative timeline and made statements without any factual basis. It is about time that you admitted that and moved on. Ignoring facts, and saying that it is the PF rules or practices that make you very selective about what facts you accept or ignore in your fantasies just make them more ridiculous. Sorry if that sounds rude, but that is how I see it. I am not going to continue this discussion, just think about this.

Please stop it. I made no speculation about an alternate timeline regarding the transistor, so stop claiming I did. I have repeated several times, that I am strictly speaking of today's technology*, in the world we live in the here and now, and having the history that today's civilization has actually gone through -- and today's people have actually lived through -- no alternate timelines are involved.

*[Edit: technically, this whole rigamarole started with discussing 20th century technology, but if you'd prefer it to be extended to today's technology as well, that's fine. It still applies, at least for the present time.]
 
Last edited:
  • #68
russ_watters
Mentor
20,572
7,232
Coming back to the topic, just yesterday when shopping at a local supermarket, I remembered the LED thing and bought a flashlight as a "commemorative" gift for my little daughter (she is more into gadgets than dolls and other girly things :) ). The price was about 7 euro, including the three AAA batteries it runs on. It is amazing. It is brighter than any flashlight I have personally owned, much lighter, cheaper and more efficient than the brightest of them. If this is not a revolution in the illumination technology, then I do not know what is.
Yes, LED lights did revolutionize flashlights, but they are a tiny part of the total lighting market/energy use.
 
  • #69
1,184
224
Yes, LED lights did revolutionize flashlights, but they are a tiny part of the total lighting market/energy use.
This will change becouse it must change. LED lights today are superior in almost every technical aspect, but not in price. And their price will be dropping with time.
 
  • #70
nsaspook
Science Advisor
1,031
1,620
This will change becouse it must change. LED lights today are superior in almost every technical aspect, but not in price. And their price will be dropping with time.

LED lighting is great in the correct application like recessed cans but until there is a increase from the efficacy of modern 2-by-4 T8 fixtures and other linear fluorescent lamps in large areas it will be hard for LED lights to dominate the market outside of residential. I'm not saying it won't happen but some major improvements in price and total performance must happen first.
 
  • #71
OmCheeto
Gold Member
2,145
2,620
Another good, and timely, reason to give them the prize.


Does anyone still use the old "heater" type Christmas lamps? I just checked, and have one set left. From the accumulated dust, it appears I haven't used them since the white LEDs hit the market.
 
  • #72
RonL
Gold Member
1,097
215
Another good, and timely, reason to give them the prize.


Does anyone still use the old "heater" type Christmas lamps? I just checked, and have one set left. From the accumulated dust, it appears I haven't used them since the white LEDs hit the market.

My new name for you....."Old School Om" :D
 
  • #73
6,054
391
That vid reminds me of Tom Waits' rendition of the song.

Ah, the good stuff.
 
  • Like
Likes OmCheeto
  • #74
dlgoff
Science Advisor
Gold Member
3,978
1,991

Related Threads on The 2014 Nobel Prize in physics

Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Last Post
Replies
8
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
15
Views
3K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
4K
  • Last Post
Replies
11
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
2K
  • Last Post
Replies
2
Views
1K
Replies
33
Views
5K
  • Last Post
Replies
1
Views
836
  • Last Post
2
Replies
31
Views
6K
Top