Hong Kong pays tribute to Nobel laureate Charles Kao through exhibition

15:54, February 07, 2010      

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2009 Nobel laureate Charles Kao, together with his Nobel colleagues Yang chen-ning and James Mirrlees, officiated the opening of an exhibition to showcase Kao' s lifetime achievement in the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on Friday.

The exhibition "A Tribute to Charles Kao" will run from Feb. 6 until March 20 at the CUHK's library, with all the public welcomed to attend.

Kao is internationally renowned as the "Father of Fiber Optics". Kao was awarded half of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for " groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication."

Invited by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government and the CUHK, the homegrown Nobel Prize winner made a two-month visit back to Hong Kong from the United States since Jan. 29 for the first time after he won the Nobel Prize in Physics.

Kao's work has fundamentally transformed lives and the way we learn, play, communicate and conduct business, HKSAR Chief Executive Donald Tsang said at the opening ceremony of the exhibition.

Tsang also encouraged young people to consider Professor Kao as a role model in continuing the technological advances and maintain the city's position as an innovation and technology hub.

"Charles has dedicated most of his life to the research on fiber-optic communications. Initiated 44 years ago, it has changed the communication technology of today," Kao's wife delivered a speech on his behalf at the ceremony.

She hoped the public could learn more about Kao and his contribution to optical communications through the exhibition, which captured scenes of Charles's early life, his work at CUHK and his lifetime achievement on fiber optics.

The CUHK exhibition showcases the Nobel Prize medal and diploma, which Kao donated to the university, as well as his various precious medals. Video footage of Kao are also shown, including the presentation of the Nobel Prize Award to Kao in Stockholm last December, as well as many university activities attended by Kao during his vice-chancellorship the CUHK.

The audience will find publications by Kao as an academic giant, his lecture notes and household utensils made of pottery by Kao, unveiling his artistic talent.

Kao made a discovery that led to a breakthrough in fiber optics in 1966. He calculated how to transmit light over long distances via optical glass fibers, which led to the fabrication of the first ultra pure fiber in 1970. In 1969 Willard S. Boyle and George E. Smith invented the first successful imaging technology using a digital sensor, a CCD (Charge-Coupled Device).

The two scientific achievements have helped to shape the foundations of today's networked societies by creating many practical innovations for everyday life and provided new tools for scientific exploration, according the Nobel Committee.

Source: Xinhua
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