John B Goodenough, the scientist who shared the 2019 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his essential position in growing the revolutionary lithium-ion battery, the rechargeable energy pack that’s ubiquitous in right now’s wi-fi digital gadgets and electrical and hybrid autos, died on Sunday at an assisted residing facility in Austin, Texas. He was 100. The College of Texas at Austin, the place he was a professor of engineering, introduced his loss of life.
Till the announcement of his choice as a Nobel laureate, Dr. Goodenough was comparatively unknown past scientific and tutorial circles and the business titans who exploited his work. He achieved his laboratory breakthrough in 1980 on the College of Oxford, the place he created a battery that has populated the planet with smartphones, laptop computer and pill computer systems, lifesaving medical gadgets like cardiac defibrillators, and clear, quiet plug-in autos, together with many Teslas, that may be pushed on lengthy journeys, reduce the impression of local weather change and would possibly sometime change gasoline-powered automobiles and vans.
Like most fashionable technological advances, the highly effective, light-weight, rechargeable lithium-ion battery is a product of incremental insights by scientists, lab technicians and business pursuits over a long time. However for these conversant in the battery’s story, Dr. Goodenough’s contribution is considered the essential hyperlink in its improvement, a linchpin of chemistry, physics and engineering on a molecular scale.
In 2019, when he was 97 and nonetheless lively in analysis, Dr. Goodenough grew to become the oldest Nobel Prize winner in historical past when the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences introduced that he would share the $900,000 award with two others who made main contributions to the battery’s improvement: M Stanley Whittingham from New York, and Akira Yoshino from Tokyo. Dr. Goodenough obtained no royalties for his work on the battery, solely his wage for six a long time as a scientist and professor on the M.I.T, Oxford and the College of Texas. Caring little for cash, he signed away most of his rights. He shared patents with colleagues and donated stipends that got here with awards to analysis and scholarships.
A congenial presence since 1986 on the Austin campus, the place he amazed colleagues by remaining creative properly into his 90s, he had been working in recent times on a superbattery that he mentioned would possibly sometime retailer and transport wind, photo voltaic and nuclear power, reworking the nationwide electrical grid and maybe revolutionising the place of electrical automobiles in middle-class life, with limitless journey ranges and the convenience of recharging in minutes.