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Societies open up Nobel winners' research papers

14 Oct 2014

SPIE, AIP and OSA make papers published by 2014 physics and chemistry laureates available on digital platforms.

optics.org publisher and optics and photonics society SPIE is making research papers published by the six recipients of the 2014 Nobel prizes for physics and chemistry freely available through the end of the year.

Last week saw optics technology dominate the awards, as the pioneers of the blue LED and super-resolution microscopy were rewarded for research work which has since had a major commercial impact.

Nearly 100 papers published by physics laureates Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura, plus their chemistry counterparts Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell, and William Moerner, are being made available via SPIE’s Digital Library platform.

"Start of an era"
The publications, which date back to the 1980s and include proceedings papers initially presented at various SPIE conferences, can be accessed at www.spie.org/nobelpapers.

Eric Pepper, SPIE’s publications director, said in a society statement: “SPIE is thrilled with the recognition given these pioneering researchers, all of whom have had significant involvement with SPIE over the years.”

Meanwhile SPIE’s president-elect, Toyohiko Yatagai, noted that with 2015 designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Light, the awards are particularly timely, and offer another opportunity to showcase the importance of light and photonics technologies in everyday life.

“We are entering a new era of light, and light-based technologies will break fresh ground, changing all our lifestyles," Yatagai said.

Moerner and Nakamura to give key talks at Photonics West 2015
SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs emphasized the value of the discoveries to humanity, calling the physics Nobel award “an inspirational example of scientific discovery addressing one of our grand challenges: energy consumption”. Echoing comments made by Shuji Nakamura last week, he added that a key result in developing nations will be that millions of people will have access to electric light provided by LEDs and powered using solar photovoltaics.

The American Institute of Physics (AIP) has also made what it calls “seminal” papers published by the various Nobel laureates available to download through the end of this year. For the physics trio, these date back to Nakamura’s 1991 publication on a novel method for gallium nitride layer production using metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD).

On the chemistry side, papers on super-resolution microscopy dating back to Eric Betzig’s 1986 research on fluorescence from near-field scanning have been made available.

Meanwhile The Optical Society (OSA) has collected together more than 150 of its papers published by Hell, Betzig and Moerner, alongside 24 published by the physics laureates here. OSA is allowing free access to the two collections for 60 days.

Chemistry laureate Moerner is set to deliver a keynote talk at SPIE’s Photonics West 2015 conference taking place next February in San Francisco, while Nakamura will be the featured speaker at the society’s “Fellows luncheon” during the same event.

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