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Science Careers Blog

October 6, 2009

More Bell Labs Nobels

As 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 communication."

- Beryl Benderly

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