The CAP is very sad to learn that Willard Boyle, Co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009 and a former CAP member passed away on May 7th. Since his retirement from research Willard had been living with his wife in his home province of Nova Scotia.
Born in Amherst, NS, in 1924, Willard’s undergraduate studies at McGill were interrupted in 1943 when he joined the Canadian Navy during World War II. He completed his B.Sc. after the war and then his Ph.D. in 1950, both at McGill. He joined Bell Labs in New Jersey in 1953, where he worked on ruby lasers and collaborated on the Apollo space program. In 1969, he and George Smith invented the charge-coupled device, which led to their being awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize for “the invention of an imaging semiconductor circuit—the CCD sensor”.
Willard was Executive Director of Research for Bell Labs from 1975 until his retirement in 1979, and he was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 2010. He will be mourned by his wife Betty and his three children as well as many grandchildren.