if to underscore the greatness of the monopoly-era Bell Laboratories, as described in
the current Taken
for Granted article
on Science Careers, the Royal Swedish Academy of
Sciences today announced that half the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics goes to two veterans of the fabled research center.
Willard Boyle, age 85, and George Smith, 79, share the prize with Charles Kao, 75, who did his groundbreaking research at Standard Telecommunications Laboratories in Harlow,
England. The three are honored for advances in the study of light that laid the foundations of crucial technologies.
According to the Nobel Prize Web site
, Boyle and Smith split their half "for
the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit - the CCD sensor" used
in digital photography, which took place at Bell Labs. Kao wins the other half "for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical
- Beryl Benderly