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Albert Einstein

Science Daily said that the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics has ‘helped to shape the foundations of today’s networked societies.’ The scientists involved used former Nobel Prize winner, Albert Einstein’s theory to develop their own.

Well that’s good! We all use social networking, right? Whether it’s Facebook, MySpace or Twitter, the majority of the population can be found on one of them. Even President Obama, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize winner, used Facebook in his Presidency campaign!


The Physics Nobel Prize has been awarded to two scientific achievements. One half of the prize went to Charles K. Kao of Standard Telecommunication Laboratories “for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibres for optical communication”, and the other half went jointly to Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith of Bell Laboratories “for the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit – the CCD sensor”.

This is all ground-breaking stuff I’m sure you’ll agree, but what is it exactly? If we strip the stories and news coverage of all its scientific jargon, what’s left?

Both discoveries contribute to our everyday virtual lives as well as helping scientific exploration! Nifty! We can catch up with our friends using the same discovery that created ‘new tools’ for scientific expansion.

We can send videos, music and pictures anywhere at the touch of a button and at incredible speed with fibre optics.

Loads of people take their camera with them on a night out and distribute the oh-so embarrassing pictures all over their favourite social networking site the next day…well, it’s thanks to Boyle and Smith! The CCD they invented is the digital camera’s viewing system. Science Daily said: “It revolutionized photography.”  

Gone are the days of taking the camera film down to the shops to be developed and picking them up a few hours later only to discover your thumb had been covering most of the lens!

Did you know: ‘CCD technology is also used in many medical applications, e.g. imaging the inside of the human body, both for diagnostics and for microsurgery.’ (Science Daily)

Digital images have since become extremely important in almost all walks of life. One important example is the enhancement of CCTV footage.

The fact that something so taken-for-granted in today’s society has had such a huge effect on the world is extraordinary. The possibilities are mind-blowing!

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