Canadian scientist Willard Boyle, others receive Nobel Prize

The Associated Press ~ staff The News
Send to a friend

Send this article to a friend.

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Canadian scientist Willard Boyle, whose work in optics revolutionized photography, received the Nobel Prize in Physics in Stockholm on Thursday.
Also honoured were a record five women, including a writer who depicted life behind the Iron Curtain and researchers who showed how chromosomes protect themselves from degrading.
Sweden's King Carl Gustaf handed out the prestigious US$1.4 million awards in chemistry, physics, medicine, literature and economics during an elegant ceremony.
U.S. President Barack Obama received the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo earlier in the day.
Boyle, 85, shared the award with Americans George Smith and Charles Kao. Boyle and Smith were honoured for inventing a sensor used in digital cameras and Kao won the prize for discovering how to transmit light signals long distances through hair-thin glass fibres.
Boyle, who also holds U.S. citizenship, was born in Amherst, N.S.
After receiving his doctorate from McGill University in Montreal, Boyle spent a year at Canada's Radiation Lab and two years teaching physics at the Royal Military College of Canada.
In 1953 he joined Bell Labs where he invented the first continuously operating ruby laser with Don Nelson in 1962, and was named on the first patent for a semiconductor injection laser.
He was made director of Space Science and Exploratory Studies at the Bell Labs subsidiary Bellcomm in 1962, providing support for the Apollo space program and helping to select lunar landing sites. He returned to Bell Labs in 1964, working on the development of integrated circuits.
In 1969, Boyle and Smith invented the charge-coupled device, or CCD, the eye of the digital camera found in everything from the cheapest point-and-shoot to high-speed, delicate surgical instruments.
Working at Bell Labs in New Jersey, they designed an image sensor that could transform light into a large number of image points, or pixels, in a short time.
"It revolutionized photography, as light could now be captured electronically instead of on film," the Swedish Academy said in its citation.
Boyle retired in 1979, when he moved back to Nova Scotia and served on the research council of the Canadian Institute of Advanced Research and the Science Council of the Province of Nova Scotia.

Organizations: Royal Military College of Canada, Bell Labs, McGill University Radiation Lab Swedish Academy Canadian Institute of Advanced Research Science Council

Geographic location: STOCKHOLM, Sweden, U.S. Oslo Amherst Montreal Canada Nova Scotia New Jersey

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Thanks for voting!

Top of page

Comments

Comments