Charles Kao, a Shanghai-born British-American, won half the prize for research that led to a breakthrough in fiber-optics, determining how to transmit light over long distances via optical glass fibers.
Willard Boyle, a Canadian-American, and George Smith of the United States shared the other half for inventing the first successful imaging technology using a digital sensor.
This is a terrific award, mainly because the one last year was more for "basic knowledge", i.e. the "LHC-type" physics. The award this year shows the "iPod" side of physics that is equally important. (For those of you who are not getting what I mean here, you probably didn't read an earlier blog entry).
More coverage and background at PhysicsWorld site.
Still, we continue to wait for a woman to win this prize again.