Shocking Ideas

Sunday, December 14, 2014 - 16:00

Electricity is so 19th century. Most of the uses for it were established by the 1920s. So there’s nothing innovative left to do, right? That’s not the opinion of the Nobel committee that awarded its 2014 physics prize to scientists who invented the blue LED.

Find out why this LED hue of blue was worthy of our most prestigious science prize … how some bacteria actually breathe rust … and a plan to cure disease by zapping our nervous system with electric pulses.


  • Siddha Pimputkar - Postdoctoral researcher in the Materials Department of the Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center under Shuji Nakamura, winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics, University of California, Santa Barbara
  • Jeff Gralnick - Associate professor of microbiology at the University of Minnesota
  • Kevin Tracey - Neurosurgeon and president of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research in New York