Oct. 6, 2009
The 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics has been awarded to Charles Kao, Willard Boyle and George Smith. Kao calculated how to transmit light over long distances via optical glass fibers, leading to today's fiber-optic cables that make up the backbone of most data networks. Boyle and Smith invented the first successful imaging technology using a digital sensor, a CCD (Charge-Coupled Device). The CCD converts light into electronic data, e.g., as the electronic eye of the digital camera, enabling conversion of the light signal sent through the fiber-optic cable.