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George E. Smith
Born May 10, 1930 (1930-05-10) (age 79)
White Plains, New York
Nationality United States
Fields Applied physics
Institutions Bell Labs
Alma mater University of Chicago (PhD 1959)
University of Pennsylvania (BSc 1955)
Known for Charge-coupled device
Notable awards IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award (1974)
Draper Prize (2006)
Nobel Prize in Physics (2009)

George Elwood Smith (born May 10, 1930) is an American scientist, applied physicist, and co-inventor of the charge-coupled device. 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".[1]

Smith was born in White Plains, New York. Smith served in the US Navy, attained his BSc at the University of Pennsylvania in 1955 and his PhD from the University of Chicago in 1959 with a dissertation of only three pages.[2] 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.[3]

In 1969, Smith and Willard Boyle invented the Charge-Coupled Device (CCD)[4], 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 wife, Janet, for seventeen years, eventually giving up his hobby in 2003 to "spare his 'creaky bones' from further storms."[3] He currently resides in Waretown, New Jersey.


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