Gerd Binnig, German physicist

Gerd Binnig, German physicist

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Credit: EMILIO SEGRE VISUAL ARCHIVES/AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Gerd Binnig (born 1947), German physicist. After studying physics in Frankfurt, Binnig joined the IBM Zurich Research Laboratory in 1978. While at IBM, Binnig and his colleague Heinrich Rohrer designed the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM). The STM uses a fine needle with an electric potential running through it to scan the surface of an object. It is able to obtain very high magnifications, even visualising individual atoms. Binnig and Rohrer were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986 for this work. In 1994 Binnig founded the company Definiens, which uses automated technology to analyse and interpret images.

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