Nobel Laureates’ Publications Made Open Access in SPIE Digital Library

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Nobel Prizes announced this week in Physics and Chemistry demonstrate photonics as a “powerful, enabling technology that drives innovation and discovery and stimulates new fields,” noted leaders of SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics. The society is making research papers by the six recipients published in the SPIE Digital Library freely accessible through the end of 2014.

This further reinforces the importance of optics and photonics as a powerful, enabling technology that drives innovation and discovery, and stimulates new fields.

Research papers published by six 2014 Nobel Prize recipients whose accomplishments in physics and chemistry have been enabled by photonics are being made freely available in the SPIE Digital Library through the end of 2014. The innovations recognized for this year’s Nobel prizes in Physics and in Chemistry utilize light-based science and technology in the development of sustainable LED lighting, smart phone and computer displays, and more accurate medical diagnostics and treatments, and have illuminated the path to new areas of research.

The new Nobel Laureates are Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano, and Shuji Nakamura, who were awarded the Physics prize for their invention of blue light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell, and William Moerner, recipients of the Chemistry prize for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.

The papers ― nearly 100 in all ― can be accessed at http://www.spie.org/nobelpapers. Publications date from the mid-1980s through this year and include papers presented at SPIE conferences and published in the Proceedings of SPIE as well as papers appearing in SPIE journals.

“SPIE is thrilled with the recognition given to these pioneering researchers, all of whom have had significant involvement with SPIE over the years, and with the fact that the Nobel Physics and Chemistry committees deemed these innovative photonics technologies to be worthy of this distinction. We are pleased to make all SPIE papers authored or coauthored by this year’s Nobel Laureates freely available to anyone interested in learning more about these topics,” said Eric Pepper, SPIE Publications Director.

SPIE President-Elect Toyohiko Yatagai noted that the awards are particularly timely, as 2015 has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Light, to help raise awareness of the importance of light and light-based technologies in everyone’s lives. “We are entering a new era of light, and light-based technologies will break fresh ground, changing all our lifestyles," he said.

Bruce Tromberg, Beckman Laser Institute director at the University of California Irvine, said the Chemistry award honors work that has extended biology and medicine, “through innovative concepts and multidisciplinary collaborations. This further reinforces the importance of optics and photonics as a powerful, enabling technology that drives innovation and discovery, and stimulates new fields such as biophotonics.” Tromberg is the former Editor-in-Chief of the SPIE Journal of Biomedical Optics, for which Hell served as a member of the editorial board for 15 years.

SPIE CEO Eugene Arthurs emphasized the value of the discoveries to humanity. He called the Physics award “an inspirational example of scientific discovery addressing one of our grand challenges: energy consumption. From this advance, millions of people in need will have clean light for the first time using LEDs."

The SPIE Digital Library contains more than 400,000 articles from journals, proceedings, and books, with approximately 18,000 new research papers and other items added each year. Abstracts are freely searchable, and an increasing number of journal articles are published with open access.

The three Physics Laureates and Chemistry Laureates Moerner and Betzig are co-authors of papers to be presented at SPIE Photonics West 2015, to be held 7-12 February in San Francisco. In addition, Nakamura will be the featured speaker at the SPIE Fellows luncheon during the event, and Moerner will deliver a keynote talk.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 256,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided more than $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2013.

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