Monday, May 23, 2011

Willard Boyle's Impact on Geology

Willard Boyle died last week. Dr. Boyle won the Nobel Prize in physics in 2009 for his work on the charge coupled device (CDC). The charged couple device was invented in 1969. It took 30 years for the Nobel Committee to recognize the importance of the work. The digital camera is one of the great advances in field geology. I suspect that J. Harlan Bretz would have had a much easier time presenting his fieldwork regarding the Missoula Floods if the digital camera had been available.

Boyle also aided in the advancement of the ruby laser. The laser was used for very accurate range finding. Further advancements and laser techniques have supplanted the development, but accurate range finding is not only handy for field grunts like me but has been critical in measuring strain and uplift.  

No comments: