Scientist, 97, becomes oldest ever winner of Nobel Prize

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

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.

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.

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.

2019-10-11T04:19:22+00:00By |

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