Nobel Nanoscopy

The Invisible Man

GERMANY-US-NOBEL-CHEMISTRY
Nobel Prize winning chemist Stefan Hell.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The work of German scientist Stefan Hell, who has won the Nobel Prize for chemistry, could help find new treatments for illnesses such as Alzheimers and Parkinson’s disease.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • Stefan Hell, a Romanian-German physicist has won the Nobel Prize in chemistry, together with the Americans Eric Betzig and William Moerner.
    • The prize is for their work in developing high-resolution fluorescent microscopy.
    • The technique can help find treatments for illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
  • Audio

    Audio

  • Pdf

Stefan Hell thought it was a dumb joke when Stefan Normark from the Swedish Academy for Sciences and chairman of the Nobel Prize committee called and told him the news. “Thank God I recognized his voice!” Mr. Hell said.

At a ceremony later this year, the Romanian-German physicist will recieve the Nobel Prize in chemistry, together with the Americans Eric Betzig and William Moerner, for their work in developing high-resolution fluorescent microscopy.

When Mr. Hell stepped in front of the cameras on Wednesday afternoon at the Göttingen Max Planck Institute, he could hardly conceal his joy. “We already killed a few bottles of champagne,” he said as if he needed to explain.

Mr. Hell and his two U.S. colleagues have taken microscopy to a whole new level, making microscopic developments possible through nano resolutions. The scientists are pioneers in the new field of nanoscopy, which allows single molecules to be tracked in living cells.

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