“Now I’m wondering how to act”
Telephone interview with Hiroshi Amano following the announcement of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physics, 7 October 2014. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Chief Scientific Officer of Nobel Media.
[Hiroshi Amano] Hiroshi Amano speaking.
[Adam Smith] Hello. My name is Adam Smith from Nobelprize.org, the official website of the Nobel Prize in Stockholm.
[HA] Oh, thank you for calling.
[AS] First of all, of course congratulations on the award of the Nobel Prize.
[HA] Thank you.
[AS] So, it must have been the most extraordinary week you’d been having?
[HA] Yes, I was so surprised. Yeah, it’s quite extraordinary for me.
[AS] Have you managed to find even a moment to yourself or have you been in the public eye the whole time?
[HA] Yeah, yeah, my university staff manage my schedule so I cannot manage by myself! [Laughs]
[AS] And you were in France when you heard the news, were you?
[AS] Were you travelling when the news broke? Or did you get a call? Or what happened?
[HA] Yeah, yeah. I saw in the PC. My PC, during the transit at Frankfurt airport, and I found many many email, and I still did not understand what happened. And when I arrived at Reims airport then I found I received as one of the winner. So I was so surprised. [Laughs]
[HA] It must have been a very confusing flight from Frankfurt while you wondered what was going on?
[HA] [Laughs] Yeah, yeah. It’s one of the most amazing travels for me.
[AS] And now that the news has had a few days to sink in, how do you feel about it?
[HA] Yeah, yeah, more than happy. But now I’m wondering how to act. Because many people are watching me so I should act very fortunate, responsible or something.
[AS] Suddenly you have to be very grown up, perhaps.
[HA] [Laughs] Yeah, yeah, sure.
[AS] The invention that the Prize has been awarded for is everywhere. Everywhere you look you see the blue LED. How does that make you feel to have been part of something that is now everywhere?
[HA] Yeah, yeah. For me it’s my great honour that many people use blue LEDs or LED lightings now. So, we can contribute to the energy savings for the humans, so I’m very very happy to contribute to the energy saving issues.
[AS] And it must be a great joy to be awarded together with your supervisor, Isamu Akasaki?
[AS] What did he teach you?
[HA] So, he teached me that the nitride, gallium nitride, was very, is very promising material for the blue LED. So I could concentrate on the gallium nitride and not other materials like zinc selenide and silicon carbide.
[AS] It’s now the evening coming up in Japan. What do you have scheduled for the evening? Do you have a free evening for once? [Laughs]
[HA] Yes, I’m free.
[AS] That’s nice. So when did you come back to Japan?
[HA] October 10th, the day Friday morning.
[AS] Ah, there must have been an amazing welcome for you.
[HA] Yes, yes, there are many many interviewers at the airport so I was so so surprised. More than 80 peoples gather and say congratulations. [Laughs]
[AS] Anyway, I’m very happy to add my voice to those congratulations. So once again, thank you very much for speaking to us now.
[HA] Thank you so much.
[AS] Thank you very much indeed. Bye bye.
[HA] Bye bye.
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