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Nobel prize for CCD inventors - congratulations from the RAS!

Last Updated on Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:57
Published on Tuesday, 06 October 2009 00:00
In 1969 physicists Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith, both of Bell Laboratories in the USA, invented the first successful imaging technology using a digital sensor, the Charge-Coupled Device (CCD). These transform light into electrical signals, allowing light to be captured electronically instead of on film. Since their inception, their incredible sensitivity to light has revolutionised astronomy and other areas of science.

Now the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has recognised their work and awarded half of the 2009 Nobel prize for physics to the two scientists.

Professor Andy Fabian, President of the Royal Astronomical Society, congratulated them both. He commented, “CCDs are the backbone of modern astronomy. They let professional and even amateur astronomers see objects throughout the Universe with a sensitivity to light that would have been unthinkable even three decades ago. And in a perfect example of ‘spin-off’ CCDs are now familiar in everyday life – in bespoke digital cameras and even mobile phones.”

Press release on 2009 Nobel prize in physics