The three winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry are John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino, who were honored for the development of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries.

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In announcing this year's winners on Wednesday, Olof Ramstrom, of the Nobel chemistry committee, said: "This is a highly charged story of tremendous potential."

He said batteries in less efficient forms had been around for a very long time but "it's really a hard job to make a new good battery", which is what the lithium battery that the trio worked on became. Entering the market in 1991, the rechargeable batteries are used to power products such as smartphones, laptops and even electric vehicles.

A German-born engineering professor at the University of Texas at Austin, Goodenough, at 97, became the oldest person to be awarded a Nobel Prize. British-American M. Stanley Whittingham is a chemistry professor at State University of New York at Binghamton and Japanese Akira Yoshino is a professor at Meijo University in Japan.

In a recent interview with The Times newspaper, Goodenough recalled: "At the time we developed the battery, it was just something to do. I didn't know what electrical engineers would do with the battery. I really didn't anticipate cellphones, camcorders and everything else."

In announcing the winners, The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said: "Through their work, this year's Chemistry Laureates have laid the foundation of a wireless, fossil fuel-free society."

The trio will equally share a $906,000 prize. The latest awards bring to 183 the total number of people that have won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

The chemistry award announcement follows Monday's news that the Nobel Prize in Medicine had been awarded to William KaelinJr, Peter Ratcliffe, and Gregg Semenza and Tuesday's announcement of the winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics. The three physics laureates, James Peebles, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz, were recognized for their discoveries in cosmology. The winners of the Nobel Prize in Literature for both 2018 and 2019 will be announced on Thursday.

The king of Sweden will formally present all of the awards at a ceremony in Stockholm on Dec 10, the anniversary of the 1896 death of philanthropist Alfred Nobel.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is one of the most prestigious acknowledgments in the field.

The winners are chosen each year following a long process that starts with several thousand prominent scientists and past winners filling out questionnaires with their suggestions. The list is then whittled down to about 15 names that members of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences vote on.

         (This  Article  quoted from China Daily Global 10/10/2019 page7)


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