Nobel Prize Recipient in Physics. He was honored in 2009 for his part in discovering the charge-coupled device (CCD), the basis of modern digital photography. The son of a physician he was raised in Wallace, Nova Scotia, and later in a small Quebec village where he was initially home schooled. After a time at Montreal's Lower Canada College he transferred to the same city's McGill University, interrupted his education to serve as a Royal Canadian Navy aviator during World War II, then returned to McGill where he received his master's in 1948 and Ph.D. in 1950. After a time teaching at the Royal Military College in Kingston, Ontario, he joined New Jersey-based Bell Labs in 1953 and in 1962 helped create the ruby laser; the first laser with medical applications, it remains in use for tattoo ablation. Boyle was to do further research into laser technology leading to the light now used in CD players; seconded for a time to NASA he helped map out sites for astronauts to land on the moon, then returned to Bell where in the fall of 1969 he and Dr. George Smith, while searching for a way to facilitate data storage, utilized theories which had earned Einstein the 1921 Nobel to come up with the idea for the CCD, a silicon chip that uses electricity to capture light photons and therby create a digital image. Boyle remained with Bell until 1979 when he retired to Wallace and in later years sailed and ran an art gallery. He and Smith shared the Franklin Institute's 1973 Stuart Ballentine Medal, the 1974 IEEE Morris N. Liebmann Memorial Award, and the 2006 Charles Stark Draper Prize, as well as the 2009 Nobel Prize. Named Companion of the Order of Canada (CC) in 2010, he died after a short illness.
Bio by: Bob Hufford