3 Win Chemistry Nobel for Revolutionizing Microscopes

2 Americans, German made breakthroughs in optical microscopy
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 8, 2014 5:35 AM CDT
Updated Oct 8, 2014 6:47 AM CDT

(Newser) – Americans Eric Betzig and William Moerner and German scientist Stefan Hell won the Nobel Prize in chemistry today for developing new methods that let microscopes see finer details than they could before. The three scientists were cited for "the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy," which the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said had bypassed the maximum resolution of traditional optical microscopes.

"Their groundbreaking work has brought optical microscopy into the nanodimension," the academy said. Betzig, 54, works at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Ashburn, Va. Hell, 51, is director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany. Moerner, 61, is a professor at Stanford University. The 2014 Nobels in physics and medicine have already been awarded. Up tomorrow: literature. (Meanwhile, check out why the Nobel Peace Prize should go to no one.)

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