News Local/State

LED Inventor, U of I Professor, Feels Work Bypassed By Nobel

U of I Professor Emeritus and LED inventor Nick Holonyak

Nick Holonyak Jr., a former professor at the University of Illinois, poses in this 2004 file photo. (AP Photo/Bill Wiegand, HO)

A retired University of Illinois physicist is questioning whether a Nobel Prize awarded to three scientists Tuesday ignores the work he and others did to invent the world's first LED.

Nick Holonyak  Jr. invented that first, red light-emitting diode back in 1962.

Some colleagues have said the invention deserved the Nobel. Holonyak never won the honor and never asserted he deserved it.

But on Tuesday the 85-year-old Holonyak called the decision to bypass his work "insulting." He said the award winners' blue LED wouldn't be possible without his invention.

LEDs have made fiber-optics networks, DVDs and a range of other technologies possible.

University of Louisville professor Delaina Amos works with LEDs. She said the blue LED deserves the award, but so does Holonyak's.