GERD BINNIG (born 20 July 1947 ) is a German physicist, who won the
Nobel Prize in
Physics in 1986 for the invention of the scanning
tunneling microscope .
He was born in
Frankfurt am Main and played in the ruins of the city
during his childhood. His family lived partly in
Frankfurt and partly
Offenbach am Main , and he attended school in both cities. At the
age of 10, he decided to become a physicist, but he soon wondered
whether he had made the right choice. He concentrated more on music,
playing in a band. He also started playing the violin at 15 and played
in his school orchestra.
Binnig studied physics at the J.W. Goethe University in Frankfurt,
gaining a bachelor's degree in 1973 and remaining there do a PhD with
in Werner Martienssen's group, supervised by Eckhardt Hoenig.
In 1969, he married Lore Wagler, a psychologist, and they have a
daughter born in
Switzerland and a son born in
California . His
hobbies are reading, swimming and golf.
In 1978, he accepted an offer from
IBM to join their
group, where he worked with
Heinrich Rohrer ,
Christoph Gerber and
Edmund Weibel . There they developed the scanning tunneling microscope
(STM), an instrument for imaging surfaces at the atomic level. The
Nobel committee described the effect that the invention of the STM had
on science, saying that "entirely new fields are opening up for the
study of the structure of matter." The physical principles on which
the STM was based were already known before the
IBM team developed the
STM, but Binnig and his colleagues were the first to solve the
significant experimental challenges involved in putting it into
Zürich team were soon recognized with a number of prizes:
Physics Prize, the Otto Klung Prize, the Hewlett Packard
Prize and the King Faisal Prize. In 1986, Binnig and Rohrer shared
half of the Nobel Prize in
Physics , the other half of the Prize was
Ernst Ruska .
From 1985-1988, he worked in California. He was at
IBM in Almaden
Valley , and was visiting professor at
Stanford University .
In 1985, Binnig invented the atomic force microscope (AFM) and
Christoph Gerber and
Calvin Quate went on to develop a working
version of this new microscope for insulating surfaces.
In 1987 Binnig was appointed
IBM Fellow . In the same year, he
Physics group Munich, working on creativity and
atomic force microscopy
In 1994 Professor