Yahoo: CCD inventors Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith shared the 2009 Nobel Prize in physics with the fiber optics inventor Charles K. Kao. The award's 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) purse will be split between the three with Kao taking half and Boyle and Smith each getting a fourth.
In its citation, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said that Boyle and Smith "invented the first successful imaging technology using a digital sensor, a CCD."
Boyle, in a phone call to the academy, said he is reminded of his work with Smith "when I go around these days and see everybody using our little digital cameras, everywhere. Although they don't use exactly our CCD, it started it all."
He added that the biggest achievement resulting from his work was when images of Mars were transmitted back to Earth using digital cameras. "We saw for the first time the surface of Mars," Boyle said. "It wouldn't have been possible without our invention."