Lecture by Nobel prize winner Stefan W Hell

Stefan W Hell, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, Göttingen and German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), Heidelberg, 2014 year Nobel prize winner in Chemistry and the inventor and pioneer of super-resolution microscopy, will become honorary doctor at KTH.

In conjunction to this event he will give a lecture entitled “Optical microscopy: the resolution revolution” (abstract enclosed). The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion, where there will be opportunities to ask questions and discuss super-resolution microscopy and science in general with Stefan Hell.

Time: November 20, 9:15-10:00 (Open lecture), 10:15-11:00 (Panel discussion)
Albanova University Center, Oskar Klein Auditorium (open lecture), Svedberg Hall (panel discussion, located next to Oskar Klein)
Jerker Widengren, Director of SciLifeLab Bioimagaing platform

Throughout the 20th century it was widely accepted that a light microscope relying on conventional optical lenses cannot discern details that are much finer than about half the wavelength of light (200-400 nm), due to diffraction. However, in the 1990s, the viability to overcome the diffraction barrier was realized and microscopy concepts defined, that can resolve fluorescent features down to molecular dimensions. In this lecture, I will discuss the simple yet powerful principles that allow neutralizing the limiting role of diffraction. In a nutshell, feature molecules residing closer than the diffraction barrier are transferred to different (quantum) states, usually a bright fluorescent state and a dark state, so that they become discernible for a brief period of detection. Thus, the resolution-limiting role of diffraction is overcome, and the interior of transparent samples, such as living cells and tissues, can be imaged at the nanoscale.