Scientist, 97, becomes oldest ever winner of Nobel Prize

Scientist, 97, becomes oldest ever winner of Nobel Prize
By: Technology Posted On: October 09, 2019 View: 16

Scientist, 97, becomes oldest ever winner of Nobel Prize

Three scientists have taken home the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, including the oldest ever winner.

The trio, John B Goodenough, Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, share the nine million krona prize (£740,099).

A screen displays the portraits of the laureates of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (L-R) John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham, and Akira Yoshino "for the development of lithium-ion batteries" during a news conference at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, Sweden, October 9, 2019. Naina Helen Jama/TT News Agency/via REUTERS      ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. SWEDEN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SWEDEN.
Image: The trio helped to refine and develop lithium-ion batteries

Mr Goodenough is the oldest ever winner of a Nobel prize at the age of 97.

The three worked together on developing and refining rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, making the age of global information technology, mobile and fossil-fuel free revolutions possible.

"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," said the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences' Nobel committee.

Mr Whittingham, who has become the second Briton to win a Nobel Prize this year, developed the first functioning lithium battery in the early 1970s.

The battery's potential was doubled by Mr Goodenough, with Mr Yoshino making the batteries safer to use.

More from Nobel Prize

Mr Yoshino spoke on Japanese television after hearing about his win, saying that he was happy to have helped develop more environmentally friendly forms of power.

"I hope this will become an encouragement for young researchers," he said.

Asahi Kasei honorary fellow Akira Yoshino, 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry winner, speaks on the phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during a news conference in Tokyo, Japan October 9, 2019.  REUTERS/Issei Kato
Image: Akira Yoshino spoke on the phone with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe after hearing the news

A member of the Nobel committee for chemistry, Peter Somfai, explained why it was clear that the trio should win the award.

"This is a technology we use every day. Most people have a mobile phone, electric vehicles are getting more popular.

"So, it's pretty straightforward why it's an important discovery."

Nobel Prizes, for physics and chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature, and peace, were founded by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish industrialist and the inventor of dynamite.

The winners of the latest prizes will receive their gold medal, cash and diploma at a ceremony on 10 December, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896.

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