Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Physics Nobels

They gave them to the experimental end of things this time. It's the usual split prize Charles K. Kao won for various fiber optics advances and Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith won for inventing the CCD.

The CCD has many uses but in particular that's what all of the digital camera sensors were for a long time, although the technology has moved on somewhat.

So basically without those guys I couldn't have taken this picture, or having taken it moved it along the Internet backbones. Either way, you wouldn't be seeing it.

(That's Lotta's fountain, donated by Lotta Crabtree in 1875. It's one of surprisingly few pre-earthquake structures that survived and was a meeting place after the quake. The survivors used to meet there once a year. Unfortunately the last one died this year. I've always loved that fountain - luckily they restored it a few years back and it's stunning.)

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