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In 1969, the Apollo 11 astronauts landed on the moon, the Woodstock Festival attracted nearly 500,000 concertgoers, and George Smith and Willard Boyle invented the first charge coupled device (CCD). Although greeted with less fanfare than the other events of 1969, the CCD gave rise to digital imaging—the process of capturing and representing an image in a format readable by a computer. By replacing the traditional film with an electronic CCD sensor, digital imaging revolutionized photography ranging from the Hubble telescope in outer space to the cell phone in your pocket. This entry describes the capture, storage, and manipulation of digital images.

Formation

The CCD sensor is the “film” of a digital camera. It consists of a two-dimensional array of photoelectric elements that become electrically charged when ...

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