George E. Smith
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009
Born: 10 May 1930, White Plains, NY, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: Bell Laboratories, Murray Hill, NJ, USA
Prize motivation: "for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit - the CCD sensor."
Prize share: 1/4
The ability to store images in a digital format is an important prerequisite for information technology. In 1969 George Smith and Willard Boyle sketched an electronic memory design, but their concept instead became the basis for a light sensitive charge coupled device, or CCD. In the sensor there is a grid of light sensitive cells that emit electrons when exposed to light, causing the cells to become electrically charged. When a voltage is applied to the cells, electrical signals are generated, which are used to build up a digital image. CCD was a breakthrough for digital camera technology.
Their work and discoveries range from how cells adapt to changes in levels of oxygen to our ability to fight global poverty.
See them all presented here.