George E. Smith

George Elwood Smith (born May 10, 1930) is an American scientist, applied physicist, and co-inventor of the charge-coupled device (CCD). He was awarded a one-quarter share in the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor, which has become an electronic eye in almost all areas of photography".[1] In 2017, Smith was announced as one of four winners of the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering, for his contribution to the creation of digital imaging sensors.[2]

George E. Smith
Nobel Prize 2009-Press Conference KVA-27
Smith in 2009
BornMay 10, 1930 (age 88)
Alma materUniversity of Chicago (PhD 1959)
University of Pennsylvania (BSc 1955)
Known forCharge-coupled device
AwardsStuart Ballantine Medal (1973)
IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award (1974)
Draper Prize (2006)
Nobel Prize in Physics (2009)
Scientific career
FieldsApplied physics
InstitutionsBell Labs


Smith was born in White Plains, New York. Smith served in the US Navy, and subsequently obtained his B.Sc. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1955 and his Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago in 1959 with a dissertation of only eight pages.[3] He worked at Bell Labs in Murray Hill, New Jersey from 1959 to his retirement in 1986, where he led research into novel lasers and semiconductor devices. During his tenure, Smith was awarded dozens of patents and eventually headed the VLSI device department.[4]

In 1969, Smith and Willard Boyle invented the Charge-Coupled Device (CCD),[5] for which they have jointly received the Franklin Institute's Stuart Ballantine Medal in 1973, the 1974 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award, the 2006 Charles Stark Draper Prize, and the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics.

Both Boyle and Smith were avid sailors who took many trips together. After retirement Smith sailed around the world with his life partner, Janet, for seventeen years, eventually giving up his hobby in 2003 to "spare his 'creaky bones' from further storms".[4] He currently resides in the Waretown section of Ocean Township, Ocean County, New Jersey.[6]

In 2015, Smith was awarded the Progress Medal and Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Photographic Society.


  1. ^ The Nobel Prize in Physics 2009, Nobel Foundation, 2009-10-06, retrieved 2009-10-06.
  2. ^ "2017 QEPrize Winners - Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering". Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering. Retrieved 2017-03-10.
  3. ^ THE ANOMALOUS SKIN EFFECT IN BISMUTH, University of Chicago, 1959-12-06, retrieved 2013-06-18
  4. ^ a b PROFILE: George Smith - Nobel winner and world sailor, EarthTimes, 2009-10-06, retrieved 2009-10-06.
  5. ^ Smith, George E. (2009). Karl Grandin (ed.). Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 2009. Stockholm: The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 22 May 2012.
  6. ^ Staff. "NJ man's discovery lands Nobel Prize", WPVI-TV, October 6, 2009. Accessed November 27, 2013. "George E. Smith, 79, holds a display with a photograph of the first video telephone and some early CCD chips at his home in Waretown, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009, after it was announced that he had won the Nobel Prize in physics."

External links


2009 (MMIX)

was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar, the 2009th year of the Common Era (CE) and Anno Domini (AD) designations, the 9th year of the 3rd millennium, the 9th year of the 21st century, and the 10th and last year of the 2000s decade.

2009 was designated as:

International Year of Astronomy

International Year of Natural Fibres

International Year of Reconciliation

Year of the Gorilla (UNEP and UNESCO)

202d Engineering Installation Squadron

The 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron is a unit of the Georgia Air National Guard. The installation, repair and serviceability of sophisticated command, control, communications, intelligence, intelligence, surveillance, and air reconnaissance to Air Force installations worldwide is the responsibility of the men and women of the 202nd Engineering Installation Squadron.

Bell Labs

Nokia Bell Labs (formerly named AT&T Bell Laboratories and Bell Telephone Laboratories) is an industrial research and scientific development company owned by Finnish company Nokia. Its headquarters are located in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Other laboratories are located around the world (with some in the United States). Bell Labs has its origins in the complex past of the Bell System.

In the late 19th century, the laboratory began as the Western Electric Engineering Department and was located at 463 West Street in New York City. In 1925, after years of conducting research and development under Western Electric, the Engineering Department was reformed into Bell Telephone Laboratories and under the shared ownership of American Telephone & Telegraph Company and Western Electric.

Researchers working at Bell Labs are credited with the development of radio astronomy, the transistor, the laser, the photovoltaic cell, the charge-coupled device (CCD), information theory, the Unix operating system, and the programming languages C, C++, and S. Nine Nobel Prizes have been awarded for work completed at Bell Laboratories.

Charge-coupled device

A charge-coupled device (CCD) is a device for the movement of electrical charge, usually from within the device to an area where the charge can be manipulated, for example conversion into a digital value. This is achieved by "shifting" the signals between stages within the device one at a time. CCDs move charge between capacitive bins in the device, with the shift allowing for the transfer of charge between bins.

In recent years CCD has become a major technology for digital imaging. In a CCD image sensor, pixels are represented by p-doped metal-oxide-semiconductors (MOS) capacitors. These capacitors are biased above the threshold for inversion when image acquisition begins, allowing the conversion of incoming photons into electron charges at the semiconductor-oxide interface; the CCD is then used to read out these charges. Although CCDs are not the only technology to allow for light detection, CCD image sensors are widely used in professional, medical, and scientific applications where high-quality image data are required. In applications with less exacting quality demands, such as consumer and professional digital cameras, active pixel sensors, also known as complementary metal-oxide-semiconductors (CMOS) are generally used; the large quality advantage CCDs enjoyed early on has narrowed over time.

Charles Stark Draper Prize

The U.S. National Academy of Engineering annually awards the Draper Prize, which is given for the advancement of engineering and the education of the public about engineering. It is one of three prizes that constitute the "Nobel Prizes of Engineering" — the others are the Academy's Russ and Gordon Prizes. The winner of each of these prizes receives $500,000. The Draper prize is named for Charles Stark Draper, the "father of inertial navigation", an MIT professor and founder of Draper Laboratory.

Everett, Massachusetts

Everett is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, directly north of Boston, bordering the neighborhood of Charlestown. The population was 41,668 at the time of the 2010 United States Census.

Everett was the last city in the United States to have a bicameral legislature, which was composed of a seven-member Board of Aldermen and an eighteen-member Common Council. On November 8, 2011, the voters approved a new City Charter that will change the City Council to a unicameral body with eleven members – six ward councilors and five councilors-at-large; an event that provoked an emotional response from many Everett residents. The new City Council was elected during the 2013 City Election.

George E. Smith (gambler)

George Elsworth Smith (1862–1905) was an American gambler and Thoroughbred horse racing enthusiast who became a multi-millionaire during the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Smith was given the nickname "Pittsburgh Phil" in 1885 by Chicago gambler William "Silver Bill" Riley to differentiate him from the other Smiths that also frequented Riley's pool halls. Pittsburgh Phil is considered by many handicappers to have been an expert strategist, winning large sums of money at a time when racing statistic publications, such as The Daily Racing Form, were not widely available. At the time of his death from tuberculosis in 1905, he had amassed a fortune worth $3,250,000, which is comparable to $US 90,626,852 today. His racing Maxims, published posthumously in 1908, are considered to be the foundations of many modern handicapping strategies and formulas.

George Edwin Smith

George Edwin Smith (April 5, 1849 – April 26, 1919) was a Massachusetts lawyer, legal writer, and politician. He served three terms as the President of the Massachusetts Senate. Previous to his assumption of the Senate Presidency, he served as a member of the Massachusetts Senate, elected from the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

George P. Lawrence

George Pelton Lawrence (May 19, 1859 – November 21, 1917) was a member of the United States House of Representatives from Massachusetts.

George Smith (English footballer)

George E. Smith was an English professional football outside forward who played in the Football League for Brentford.

George Smith (horse)

George Smith (foaled April 30, 1913) was an American Thoroughbred racehorse and was the winner of the 1916 Kentucky Derby.

I. Bernard Cohen

I. Bernard Cohen (1 March 1914 – 20 June 2003) was the Victor S. Thomas Professor of the history of science at Harvard University and the author of many books on the history of science and, in particular, Isaac Newton.

Cohen was the first American to receive a PhD in history of science, was a Harvard undergraduate ('37) and then a PhD student and protégé of George Sarton who was the founder of Isis and the History of Science Society. Cohen taught at Harvard from 1942 until his death, and his tenure was marked by the development of Harvard's program in the history of science. He went on to succeed Sarton as editor of Isis (1952-1958) and, later, president of the Society (1961-1962); he was also a president of the International Union of the History and Philosophy of Science.

Cohen was an internationally recognized Newton scholar; his interests were encyclopedic, ranging from science and public policy to the history of computers, with several decades as a special consultant for history of computing with IBM. Among his hundreds of publications were such major books as Franklin and Newton (1956), The Birth of a New Physics (1959), The Newtonian Revolution (1980), Revolution in Science (1985), Science and the Founding Fathers (1995), Howard Aiken: Portrait of a Computer Pioneer (1999), and his last book, The Triumph of Numbers (2005), not to mention two jointly authored contributions, the variorum edition and new English translation of Newton's Principia.

Cohen's April 1955 interview with Albert Einstein was the last Einstein gave before his death, in that same month. It was published that July in Scientific American, which also published Cohen's 1984 essay on Florence Nightingale.

In 1974 he was awarded the Sarton Medal by the History of Science Society. Many consider Cohen's most important work to be his 1999 translation, with the late Anne Whitman, of Newton's Principia. This 974-page work took Cohen over 15 years to fully translate.

Among Cohen's students and protégés were the Islamic philosopher Seyyed Hosein Nasr, Tufts University professor George E. Smith, Bucknell University professor Martha Verbrugge, and Allen G. Debus.

Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton (25 December 1642 – 20 March 1726/27) was an English mathematician, physicist, astronomer, theologian, and author (described in his own day as a "natural philosopher") who is widely recognised as one of the most influential scientists of all time, and a key figure in the scientific revolution. His book Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica ("Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy"), first published in 1687, laid the foundations of classical mechanics. Newton also made seminal contributions to optics, and shares credit with Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz for developing the infinitesimal calculus.

In Principia, Newton formulated the laws of motion and universal gravitation that formed the dominant scientific viewpoint until it was superseded by the theory of relativity. Newton used his mathematical description of gravity to prove Kepler's laws of planetary motion, account for tides, the trajectories of comets, the precession of the equinoxes and other phenomena, eradicating doubt about the Solar System's heliocentricity. He demonstrated that the motion of objects on Earth and celestial bodies could be accounted for by the same principles. Newton's inference that the Earth is an oblate spheroid was later confirmed by the geodetic measurements of Maupertuis, La Condamine, and others, convincing most European scientists of the superiority of Newtonian mechanics over earlier systems.

Newton built the first practical reflecting telescope and developed a sophisticated theory of colour based on the observation that a prism separates white light into the colours of the visible spectrum. His work on light was collected in his highly influential book Opticks, published in 1704. He also formulated an empirical law of cooling, made the first theoretical calculation of the speed of sound, and introduced the notion of a Newtonian fluid. In addition to his work on calculus, as a mathematician Newton contributed to the study of power series, generalised the binomial theorem to non-integer exponents, developed a method for approximating the roots of a function, and classified most of the cubic plane curves.

Newton was a fellow of Trinity College and the second Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He was a devout but unorthodox Christian who privately rejected the doctrine of the Trinity. Unusually for a member of the Cambridge faculty of the day, he refused to take holy orders in the Church of England. Beyond his work on the mathematical sciences, Newton dedicated much of his time to the study of alchemy and biblical chronology, but most of his work in those areas remained unpublished until long after his death. Politically and personally tied to the Whig party, Newton served two brief terms as Member of Parliament for the University of Cambridge, in 1689–90 and 1701–02. He was knighted by Queen Anne in 1705 and spent the last three decades of his life in London, serving as Warden (1696–1700) and Master (1700–1727) of the Royal Mint, as well as president of the Royal Society (1703–1727).

List of Nobel laureates

The Nobel Prizes (Swedish: Nobelpriset, Norwegian: Nobelprisen) are prizes awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, the Swedish Academy, the Karolinska Institutet, and the Norwegian Nobel Committee to individuals and organizations who make outstanding contributions in the fields of chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. They were established by the 1895 will of Alfred Nobel, which dictates that the awards should be administered by the Nobel Foundation. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was established in 1968 by the Sveriges Riksbank, the central bank of Sweden, for contributions to the field of economics. Each recipient, or "laureate", receives a gold medal, a diploma, and a sum of money, which is decided annually by the Nobel Foundation.

May 10

May 10 is the 130th day of the year (131st in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. 235 days remain until the end of the year.

Vis viva

Vis viva (from the Latin for "living force") is a historical term used for the first (known) description of what we now call kinetic energy in an early formulation of the principle of conservation of energy.

Waretown, New Jersey

Waretown is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) located within Ocean Township, in Ocean County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the CDP's population was 1,569. Waretown is home to Albert Music Hall.

Willard Boyle

Willard Sterling Boyle, (August 19, 1924 – May 7, 2011) was a Canadian physicist. He was a pioneer in the field of laser technology and co-inventor of the charge-coupled device. As director of Space Science and Exploratory Studies at Bellcomm he helped select lunar landing sites and provided support for the Apollo space program.On October 6, 2009, it was announced that he would share the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor, which has become an electronic eye in almost all areas of photography".He was appointed a Companion of the Order of Canada — the award's highest level — on June 30, 2010.

2009 Nobel Prize laureates
Physiology or Medicine
Economic Sciences

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