Nobel Goes to Boyle and Smith for CCD Camera Chip

IEEE Fellows Willard Boyle and George Smith recognized for starting the digital-imaging revolution

4 min read

Corrected 8 October 2009.

7 October 2009—Willard Boyle and George Smith, formerly of Bell Telephone Laboratories, in Murray Hill, N.J., will share half of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics "for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit-the CCD," the basis for digital imagery in everything from pocket cameras to the Hubble Space Telescope. (The "imaging" part of the citation is in dispute, as the first imaging CCD was developed by IEEE Fellow Michael F. Tompsett, a colleague of Boyle and Smith.) In announcing the awards, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences called Boyle and Smith “masters of light” and said that, with fellow winner and optical-fiber pioneer Charles Kuen Kao, they “helped to shape the foundations of today’s networked societies.”

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How Nanotech Can Foil Counterfeiters

These tiny mechanical ID tags are unclonable, cheap, and invisible

10 min read
Close up of a finger with a clear square on it.
University of Florida

What's the largest criminal enterprise in the world? Narcotics? Gambling? Human trafficking?

Nope. The biggest racket is the production and trade of counterfeit goods, which is expected to exceed US $1 trillion next year. You've probably suffered from it more than once yourself, purchasing on Amazon or eBay what you thought was a brand-name item only to discover that it was an inferior-quality counterfeit.

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