Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle, and... | Almanac.com

Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle, and...

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Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle, and George E. Smith won the Nobel Prize in physics for their contributions toward fiber optics and digital photography.

Kao, of Standard Telecommunication Laboratories in Harlow, UK, and Chinese University of Hong Kong, won half the prize for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication… . [In 1966] he carefully calculated how to transmit light over long distances via optical glass fibers. With a fiber of purest glass it would be possible to transmit light signals over 100 kilometers, compared to only 20 meters for the fibers available in the 1960s.

Boyle and Smith, both from Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., shared the other half of the prize for the 1969 invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor… . The CCD is the digital camera’s electronic eye. It revolutionized photography, as light could now be captured electronically instead of on film.