Changing the World of Imaging in an Hour

There was an interesting piece in E&T this month about the invention of the CCD, which we rely on every time we use a digital camera. It turns 40 this week. Apparently Willard Boyle was asked by his manager to “Come up with something different”. So he and George Smith had a chat. Within an hour they had come up with a device which would hold charge within a cell and then…

An hour or so later, they were deciding what to call it. The online histories make it seem like a film script: “It’s got charge. And we’re moving the charge around by coupling potential wells,” said Smith; “Let’s call it a charge coupled device,” said Boyle.

They didn’t mess around once they’d come up with the idea, either…

“In less than a week, masks were made and devices were fabricated and tested”