A Charged-Coupled Device?
Well what is? A charged-couple device, CCD, is what won the Nobel Prize for physics today for three scientist who worked at Bell Labratories in the United States. It is a semi-conductor curcuit which changed light into a transmittable signal.
This little device has transformed our lives. On a personal level it has made the digital camera possible, instant photography without film. It also has made possible the great quality of the awe inspiring pictures from the Hubble Telescope from deep in space, which we would not see otherwise. Likewise, the pictures from the Mars Rover were made possible. Without it we would not have such realistic pictures of the planet Mars. There are other uses in science for this device and more being worked out, yet.
Congratulations to the three scientists that are sharing the Nobel Prize for Physics for this work:
W.S. Boyle, George E. Smith, and Charles Kao. W.S. Boyle is a Canadian. He makes us proud.
I heard him and his wife of 65 years interviewed on the radio today. A humble man he is. He said he thought at first when he got the call from Sweden someone was playing a joke on him. He also said not all things developed from his creation of the CCD is necessarily good. He thought a telephone that can take pictures was not a very admirable item.
Charles Kao also is responsible for fibre optics which makes broadband internet connections possible. How great is that.
Sometimes basic physics is rather esoteric and not always easily understood as affecting our lives. In this case, it has enriched our lives in so many ways.