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Gerd Binnig

Gerd BinnigAKA Gerd Karl Binnig

Born: 20-Jul-1947
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Physicist

Nationality: Germany
Executive summary: Co-Inventor, scanning tunneling microscope

German physicist Gerd Binnig studied at Goethe University and the University of Frankfurt, and has spent most of his career at IBM. In 1981, with his colleague Heinrich Rohrer, he designed the first scanning tunneling microscope, which uses quantum mechanical effects to magnify images of conducting or semiconducting materials to the extent that individual atoms are easily recognizable. In 1986 they invented the atomic force microscope, which uses an almost unfathomably sensitive stylus to mechanically probe surface contours at an even finer level of clarity. "I couldn't stop looking at the images", Binnig said of the scanning tunneling microscope's preliminary tests. "It was entering a new world." In 1986 he and Rohrer won the Nobel Prize, sharing the highest honor in science honor with Ernst Ruska, who invented the electron microscope.

Father: Karl Franz Binnig (mechanical engineer)
Mother: Ruth Bracke Binnig (engineer)
Wife: Lore Wagler (psychologist, m. 1969, one daughter, one son)
Daughter: (b. 1984)
Son: (b. 1986)

    University: BS, Johann Wolfgang Goethe University, Frankfurt (1975)
    University: PhD, University of Frankfurt (1978)
    Professor: Visiting Professor, Stanford University (1986-88)

    Otto-Klung-Weberbank Prize 1983
    EPS Europhysics Prize 1984 (with Heinrich Rohrer)
    King Faisal Prize 1984 (with Heinrich Rohrer)
    Nobel Prize for Physics 1986 (with Heinrich Rohrer and Ernst Ruska)
    Elliott Cresson Gold Medal of the Franklin Institute 1987 (with Heinrich Rohrer)
    IBM Fellow 1987
    National Inventors Hall of Fame 1994
    Definiens Cognition Network Technology Founder (1994)
    IBM IBM Physics Group, Munich (1984-)
    IBM Zürich Research Laboratory (1978-84)
    Member of the Board of Daimler Benz (1990-)

Author of books:
Das Raster-Tunnelmikroskop (The Scanning Tunneling Microscope) (1987, with Heinrich Rohrer)
Aus dem Nichts (Out of Nothing) (1989)
Kinder denken in Bildern (Children Think in Pictures) (1990, with Hans Daucher)

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