It's not every year that the Nobel Prize in Physics falls within our scope of coverage, but this year turned out to a big exception, as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has deemed it fit to recognize two breakthroughs in the fiber optics and digital photography. The first of those (and half of the $1.4 million prize) goes to Charles K. Kao, whose work in the mid-60s getting light to travel long distances through glass strands made the fiber optic cables we have today possible. The second half of the prize is divided between Canadian Willard S. Boyle and American George E. Smith, who both worked at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey, and invented the so-called charge-coupled device semiconductor, better known to anyone that has ever looked at a digital camera spec list as a CCD.

[Image courtesy Nobelprize.org]

Engadget HD Podcast 158 - 10.06.2009