alphadogg writes "Charles Kao, whose work in the 1960s laid the foundation for today's long-distance fiber-optic networks, has won a share of this year's Nobel Prize in Physics (PDF). Kao, sometimes referred to as the 'father of fiber-optic communications,' was formally honored by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden 'for groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication.' Kao's breakthrough discovery in 1966 was to determine how to transmit light over long distances using ultrapure optical glass fibers. This would extend the distance of such transmissions to 62 miles vs. the mere 65 feet allowed under previous technology held back by impurities. The first ultrapure fiber was created in 1970."