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Betzig, Moerner, Hell win 2014 Nobel prize for chemistry

October 08, 2014 17:13 IST

Two American scientists and one from Germany have won the Nobel prize for chemistry for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded the Nobel to Eric Betzig, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, USA; Stefan W Hell, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Gottingen, and German Cancer Research Center, Germany; and William E Moerner Stanford University, USA for circumventing limitations on optical microscopy.

“For a long time optical microscopy was held back by a presumed limitation: that it would never obtain a better resolution than half the wavelength of light. Helped by fluorescent molecules, the Nobel laureates in chemistry 2014 ingeniously circumvented this limitation. Their groundbreaking work has brought optical microscopy into the nanodimension,” the Nobel assembly said.

The prize amount of Swedish Krona 8 million will be shared equally between the laureates.

Eric Betzig

Born 1960 in Ann Arbor, USA he obtained his Ph.D. 1988 from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. He is the group leader at Janelia Farm Research Campus, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Ashburn, VA, USA.

Stefan W Hell

Born 1962 in Arad, Romania he obtained his Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of Heidelberg, Germany. He is the director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen, and Division head at the German Cancer Research Centre, Heidelberg, Germany.

William E Moerner

Born 1953 in Pleasanton, CA, USA he received his Ph.D. 1982 from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA. Harry S. Mosher Professor in Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Applied Physics at Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.