If there was ever a Nobel Prize award that could lead to so many local story ideas better than this one, I am not sure what if could be.
By KENNETH CHANG
Published: October 6, 2009
The mastery of light through technology was the theme of this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics as the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences honored breakthroughs in fiber optics and digital photography.
Half of the $1.4 million prize went to Charles K. Kao for insights in the mid-1960s about how to get light to travel long distances through glass strands, leading to a revolution in fiber optic cables. The other half of the prize was shared by two researchers at Bell Labs, Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith, for inventing the semiconductor sensor known as a charge-coupled device, or CCD for short. CCDs now fill digital cameras by the millions.
Right off the top of my head here are some story ideas:
- What is the status of the fiber-optic network in your neighborhood?
- What is the penetration of fiber-optic cable and Internet connections in your area?
- How has digital photography changed the way professional photographers, cops and press photographers do their jobs?
- How are the sales of digital cameras doing in your area? What kinds of cameras are being bought? SLRs? Low-cost point and shoots? High-end point and shoots?
- Where do your local businesses, Internet providers, cable companies get their fiber optic lines? Why those places?
People talk about digital cameras and some of us more geeky types talk about fiber optics all the time. Here is a perfect way to make the Nobel Prizes relevant to the readers without droning on and on about the prizes themselves.