Charles K. Kao, Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith are the winners of the 2009 Nobel prize in physics. Kao will take 1/2 of the prize and 1/4 for the others. You can find a press release here. Kao was instrumental in the development of the optical fiber technology for communications while Boyle and Smith invented a widely used device, the CCD. CCD are everywhere today: your camera or TV camera has one. Boyle and Smith work at Bell Labs and here we see again a technological revolution coming out from there. This prize is quite similar to others awarding breakthroughs that changed our everyday life. Quite recently, on 2007, Albert Fert and Peter Grünberg got a similar recognition. These are living proofs that research can change our life in an unexpected and significant way.
Kao, Boyle and Smith