A moment of appreciation for Willard S. Boyle, who passed away on May 7th. Dr. Boyle, a Canadian, with his co-laureate, American George E. Smith, won the 2009 Nobel Prize for Physics for the invention, at Bell Labs, of the charge-coupled device (CCD), which made the digital camera possible.
There is a good obituary article at the Los Angeles Times. The writer notes that the CCD "allowed engineers for the first time to store a visual image in digital form, revolutionizing photography and a host of other fields. CCDs are at the heart of smartphones, camcorders, telescopes, supermarket bar-code scanners, fax machines and scanners."
Dr. Boyle was a resident of Wallace, Nova Scotia, where he died of kidney disease at the age of 86. He is survived by his wife, three children, and 11 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
A quote, from the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame: "Know how to judge when to persevere and when to quit."
(Thanks to K.T.)
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Original contents copyright 2011 by Michael C. Johnston and/or the bylined author. All Rights Reserved.
Featured Comment by Carl Blesch: "I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Boyle when he retired from Bell Labs as a research executive in 1979. I was new on the staff of our in-house company newspaper, the Bell Labs News, and an executive retirement profile was considered a reasonably meaty yet low-enough risk story to assign to an entry-level writer. A few months earlier, my wife and I had taken a vacation in Nova Scotia, indulging our hiking and my photography passions. So I had the perfect chit-chat to get my interview with this scientific leader and down-to-earth Canadian off to a good start."
Featured Comment by Lancelot Gobbo: "Bill let me take his photo (with a CCD-containing camera, of course) when he came to see me one day: