Categories: Academic family , Chemistry in History , Guest posts |  Comments
Guest post by JessTheChemist
‘Where the telescope ends, the microscope begins. Which of the two has a grander view?’ – Victor Hugo
In 1873, German physicist Ernst Abbe reported that the resolution limit of the optical microscope was 0.2 micrometres. Although this still remains true, recent work in the field of microscopy – specifically Stimulated Emission Depletion (STED) microscopy and single-molecule microscopy – has allowed scientists to visualise molecules smaller than this limit. This is accomplished by tagging molecules with fluorescent labels, which allows a more detailed picture to be visualised. On Wednesday 8th October 2014 Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell and William Moerner were awarded the Nobel prize in chemistry for their ground-breaking work in ‘the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy’. You can learn more about the ins and outs of the Nobel prize winners’ work by reading the recent Chemistry World article.
I am interested in finding out how chemists are connected to each other, and in particular, investigating whether your likelihood of winning a Nobel prize is increased by having a high number of laureates in your family tree. It is also interesting to see how closely related, if at all, are the scientists that share a prize. (more…)