The University of Illinois is planning a big celebration for one of its most recognized scientists. Nick Holonyak will be honored to mark the 50th anniversary of his invention of the first practical light-emitting diode, or LED. The 83-year-old researcher's discovery led to a host of developments from digital clocks to the lasers that make CD players possible to fiber-optic communication networks. Holonyak calls the LED the ``ultimate lamp,'' but the southern Illinois native isn't done inventing. His latest work with U of I Professor Milton Feng is focused on a high-speed transistor laser. U of I Chancellor Phyllis Wise says it's wonderful to meet someone like Holonyak who's had a huge impact but remains ``a totally modest person.''
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