Deliver Your News to the World

Springer author wins half of Nobel Prize in Physics 2009


Charles Kuen Kao awarded prize for discovery that led to breakthrough in fiber optics

The Nobel Prize in Physics for 2009 has been awarded to Springer author Charles Kuen Kao as well as to Williard S. Boyle and George E. Smith. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences presented the distinguished prize to Kao “for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication.” Kao receives one half of the prize totaling 10 million Swedish kronor (about €976,000), while Boyle and Smith together receive the other half. The three Nobel Laureates will be presented with the prize on December 10, 2009, in Stockholm, Sweden.

Kao’s research on optical fibers led to the discovery of ultrapure glass fibers which can transmit light signals 100 kilometers. This is five thousand times as much as the fibers available in the 1960s. Today glass fibers form an elementary part of the circulatory system that nourishes our communication society. These low-loss glass fibers make global broadband communication such as the Internet possible. Light flowing through thin threads of glass carries most of the telephony and data traffic in all directions. This way, we can send emails, music, pictures and videos around the world in less than a second. The whole length of glass fibers from around the world measures over one billion kilometers, hourly increasing by thousands of kilometers.

Charles Kuen Kao is a British as well as a US citizen. In 1965 he received his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Imperial College London, UK. He held the positions of Vice-chancellor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and Director of Engineering at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories in Harlow, UK and has been retired since 1996. Kao has published the book Nonlinear Photonics at Springer. Especially chapters 1, 7, 8 and 9 treat the topic for which he received the Nobel Prize. He has contributed to the Springer journal Applied Scientific Research, now called Flow, Turbulence and Combustion.

All together, Springer’s authors include over 170 Nobel Prize winners in the fields of medicine, chemistry, physics, peace and economics.


This news content was configured by WebWire editorial staff. Linking is permitted.

News Release Distribution and Press Release Distribution Services Provided by WebWire.