2014 Nobel prize in Chemistry winners: Eric Betzig, Stefan W Hell, William E Moerner
This time too, the prestigious award will be jointly shared by three scientists- Two Americans 54-year-old Eric Betzig, 61-year-old William E Moerner and one German 51-year-old Stefan W Hell, for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy", The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced.
Betzig works at the Howard Hughes Medfical Institute in Ashburn, Virginia, Hell is Director at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Goettingen, Germany and Moerner is a professor at Stanford University in California.
"I love to be a scientist." Stefan W. Hell on being awarded the Nobel Prize said.
In 1873, the microscopist Ernst Abbe stipulated a physical limit for the maximum resolution of traditional optical microscopy: it could never become better than 0.2 micrometres, but the trio scientists bypassed this limit.Two separate principles are rewarded. One enables the method stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy, developed by Stefan Hell in 2000.
Eric Betzig and William Moerner, working separately, laid the foundation for the second method, single-molecule microscopy. The method relies upon the possibility to turn the fluorescence of individual molecules on and off.
In 2006 Eric Betzig utilized this method for the first time.
Today, nanoscopy is used world-wide and new knowledge of greatest benefit to mankind is produced on a daily basis.