Two Americans and a German researcher on Wednesday were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work fine-tuning optical microscopy so that molecular processes could be viewed in real time.
The 2014 laureates in chemistry are Eric Betzig of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Virginia; Stefan W. Hell of the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry in Germany; and William E. Moerner of Stanford University in California.
In awarding the prizes at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm, the Nobel Committee said in a news release: “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 ground-breaking work has brought optical microscopy into the nanodimension.”