Monday, November 23, 2009

Albert Crewe, Inventor of the STEM

Albert Crewe, the inventor of the scanning transmission electron microscope, and the first person to image single atoms, died this past week.

Dr. Crewe's breakthrough image of an atom was taken in 1970 with a scanning transmission electron microscope of his own invention at the U. of C., where he taught until 1996.

The uranium and thorium atoms that Dr. Crewe captured were magnified 1 million times. It was a significant breakthrough -- an atom is incredibly tiny, approximately 4 billionths of an inch in diameter. The event was met with quiet satisfaction by Dr. Crewe and his fellow Hyde Park physicists.

Again, this is one of those giants in the field that many in the public would not know, but whose work has such huge impact on our lives. Thank you, Dr. Crewe!



MattPatt said...

I think you mean "inventor of the scanning transmission electron microscope." The scanning tunneling microscope was invented by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer at IBM Zurich in 1981, and they received their Nobel for it in 1986.

ZapperZ said...

Thank you. My mind was stuck on STM because I had a discussion on using it that day.