Nobel Prize announcement:
"for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication"
The Masters of Light
The Scientific background
Gwen Kao's acceptance speech on behalf of Charles
December 8th, 2009, at Stockholm University
Charles pioneered the use of a single mode dielectric (glass) optical fibre waveguide for long distance communications, at a time when the losses of the best available glasses made the idea seem impossible. It was in competition with the technology of Long-haul Microwave Waveguide, which was being developed as several laboratories around the world.
What if optical fibre
had not happened?
The image below was used at the time to emphasise the considerable mechanical advantages of a glass optical fibre, over the larger rigid and expensive longhaul microwave waveguide solution.
2009 Nobel Prize in Physics is shared (50/25/25%) with William Boyle & George Smith
"for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor"