Wednesday, October 9, 2019

2019 Nobel Prize Chemistry

Image result for lithium ion batteryEnvironmental & Science Education
History of Science
Edward Hessler

The Nobel Foundation announced that John B. Goodenough (UTexas-Austin, USA), M. Stanley Whittingham (Binghamton University, State University of New York, USA), and Akira Yoshino (Ashai Kasei Corporation, Tokyo, Japan) and Meijo University (Nagoya, Japan)) have been awarded the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry "for the development of lithium-ion batteries." In other words they created a new world, one that is rechargeable.

According to the press release "the result (of their work) was a lightweight, hardwearing battery that could be charged hundreds of times before its performance deteriorated. The advantage of lithium-ion batteries is that they are not based upon chemical reactions that break down the electrodes, but upon lithium ions flowing back and forth between the anode and cathode.

"Lithium-ion batteries have revolutionised our lives since they first entered the market in 1991. They have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society, and are of the greatest benefit to humankind."

In an article by Nicola Davis and Hannah Devlin in the British publication,The Guardian, "Professor Mark Miodownik, a materials expert at University College, London," put the significance of this word this way, that "'it was right that lithium-ion batteries were celebrated. “They are one of the most influential pieces of materials science that influence the modern life of everyone on the planet.'”
“'It is remarkable too that although 30 years old, they have not been eclipsed by a better battery technology even now, which makes you realise what a remarkable discovery they are.'”
I recommend this article for many reasons, not the least of which that you will learn that Goodenough slept through the telephone call and how he was told. He is also the oldest (97) Nobel recipient. 
The announcement page includes videos of the prize announcement and an interview about the award, the press release, and illustrations.

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