News Hour > Homepage > News > 

Charles Kuen Kao receives Nobel Prize

2009-12-11 13:18 BJT

The 2009 Nobel Prize presentation ceremony has been held in the Swedish capital of Stockholm. The joint winner in Physics, Professor Charles Kuen Kao has received the prize.

Professor Kao received the Nobel Prize certificate, gold medal, and prize from Swedish King Carl Gustaf. Kao has been awarded the prize for his groundbreaking achievements in fiber optics. He shares the prize with two American scientists.

His work on fiber optics has revolutionized global communications.

But while the world benefits, the 76-year-old himself can now hardly communicate with the outside world due to Alzheimer's disease.

On Tuesday, Nobel laureates were due to give speeches to the Swedish Royal Academy. Due to his ill health, Professor Kao sat in the audience as his wife took the stage on his behalf.

Charles K. Kao, left, receives the Nobel Prize in Physics from Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, right, at the Concert Hall in Stockholm, Sweden, Thursday Dec. 10. 2009. Kao shares the prize with two other laureates 'for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication' (AP Photo/Jonas Ekstromer / SCANPIX /Pool)
Charles K. Kao, left, receives the Nobel Prize in Physics from 
Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf, right, at the Concert Hall in 
Stockholm, Sweden, Thursday Dec. 10. 2009. Kao shares the prize 
with two other laureates 'for groundbreaking achievements 
concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical 
communication' (AP Photo/Jonas Ekstromer / SCANPIX /Pool)

Kao was born in Shanghai in 1933. His family moved to Hong Kong in 1948 where he completed his secondary education. Kao studied and obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Britain. He received his PhD in electrical engineering in 1965 from University College London, while working at Standard Telecommunication Laboratories in Harlow, England. It is there that Kao started his groundbreaking work.

But despite his achievements over the decades, the prize is a late reward for his work. His invention itself did not bring him much wealth as the patent belongs to his employers.

Editor: Liu Anqi | Source: