14 Best Sir Charles K. Kao Quotes

Sir Charles K. Kao is known as the godfather of broadband, the father of optic communications, and the father of fiber optics. He received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 2009 for his groundbreaking work in optical communication using fiber cables.

Kao was born in Shanghai, China, on November 4, 1933. His parents homeschooled him with his brother, where he studied Chinese classics. Later, he attended Shanghai World School and St. Joseph’s College in British Hong Kong before moving to London. He pursued his Bachelor’s degree in Engineering from the University of Greenwich. He also had a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of London.

Kao joined Standard Telecommunication Laboratories in the 1960s, where he built the fiber optic communication foundation in 1966. He was the first to determine the use of pure glass fibers and lasers to transport sufficient light safely.

Before his approach, people used thin filaments of glass or fiber to transmit data using light, but they kept losing light over long distances. Kao’s breakthrough brought a new field of study into the telecommunications circle.

Aside from the Nobel Prize, Kao has also received the Japan International Award, Grand Bauhinia Medal, Bell Award, and Prince Philip Medal. Queen Elizabeth II knighted him in 2010 for his service in fiber optic communication. Here are Sir Charles K. Kao quotes to give you a glimpse of a man who revolutionized the telecommunications industry.

Motivational Sir Charles K. Kao Quotes

1. “Search and search again as a way to discover new facts.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

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2. “When you are young, you are fervent about the things you believe in.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

3. “Because of the earlier loss of the two elder siblings, my brother and I lived a very pampered and protected life. Nursemaids kept constant watch.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

4. “Your younger self tends to lose temper more often, and your beliefs mean the world to you.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

Sir Charles K. Kao Quote about infinite information
5. “When information is infinite, individual pieces of information are worth nothing.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

6. “If you really look at it, I was trying to sell a dream… There was very little I could put in concrete to tell these people it was really real.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

7. “I don’t know exactly why I am not good at expressing my feelings. But I am indeed an introvert. Now that I am a full-grown man, I still feel uncomfortable whenever I go to a party or somewhere like that. I think I am exactly like my father.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

Sir Charles K. Kao on his idea of fiber optics
8. “My idea was too good to be true, which is why nobody thought that it would be possible in reality. Even I failed to express what I was thinking inside.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

9. “The primary school I attended in Shanghai was very liberal, established by scholars who had returned from education in France. The children of leading families were enrolled there, including the son of a well-known man believed to be a top gangster of the underworld.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

10. “Optical fiber systems are bound to transform the world of communication in a way like never before. The brand-new fiber systems are capable of sending signals even if the distance is far away. That too, without breaking, and this way the communication system will take a step forward.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

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11. “Maybe it was the home tutoring, or the late start to formal schooling, or an overly cautious and protective upbringing, but in any case, I never became a talkative person. As an adult, I am not always comfortable in social gatherings with small talk.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

Sir Charles K. Kao on how ideas come
12. “Ideas do not always come in a flash but by diligent trial-and-error experiments that take time and thought.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

13. “The low transmission loss and the large bandwidth capability of the fiber systems allow signals to be transmitted for establishing communications contracts over large distances with few or no provisions of intermediate amplification.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

14. “The introduction of optical fiber systems will revolutionize the communications network.” – Sir Charles K. Kao

Nobel Prize Winner Charles Kao Interview with FiberStory

Charles K. Kao was a pioneer in the field of telecommunications. He presented the idea of using fiber optics for communication, which led to internet evolution.


Sir Charles K. Kao passed away in Hong Kong on September 23, 2018. The world lost a valuable physicist and visionary after his passing. Individuals of his stature always leave a legacy behind; Sir Kao will continue to live on through the contributions he made in the field of telecommunications.Related Articles

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File:Charles K. Kao cropped 1.jpg” by David Dobkin [1] is licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0.

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