Monday, October 5, 2009

Nobel Prize in Physics Goes to Photonic Researchers

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2009 was awarded for two separate breakthroughs in photonic research. One half of the prize went to Charles K. Kao for work that led to vast improvement in the data transmission capacity of optical fibers. Kao demonstrated that the high-loss of existing fiber optics arose from impurities in the glass. At the time of his discovery in 1966, Kao was a researcher at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories, Harlow, UK.

The other half of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics went to Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith. The team invented the first CCD (Charge-Coupled Device)., which is the basis of the digital camera. Both Boyle and Smith were members of the Semiconductor Components Division at Bell Labs and began their seminal work on the CCD in 1969.


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