Binnig, Gerd gĕrt bĭn´ĭkh [key], 1947–, German physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Frankfurt, 1978. At the IBM Research Laboratory in Zürich, Binnig and fellow researcher Heinrich Rohrer built the first scanning tunneling microscope , an instrument so sensitive that it can distinguish individual atoms. For their innovation they shared the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics with Ernst Ruska , who invented (1933) the first electron microscope. In 1986 Binnig developed the atomic force microscope , which can image individual atoms in materials that do not conduct electricity.
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