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New Law for Resolution Allows Unprecedented Sharpness in Fluorescence Microscopy

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posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 02:00 PM
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Researcers at the Max Planck institute for biophysical Chemistry have established a new law relegating the 132 year old "law" for diffraction limited resolution in light microscopes first postulated in 1873 by Ernst Abbe.

www.physorg.com...




Images with resolution at and beyond the diffraction limit shown in the left and right column, respectively. Upper row: Pores in a porous membrane marked with a fluorescent dye shown with normal resolution cannot be discerned as such (a). The same imaging carried out parallel with STED microscopy clearly brings out the structure to light (b). The term confocal indicates that the reference images (a,c) were recorded in the confocal microscopy imaging mode which currently is the best resolving diffraction limited fluorescence microscopy method. Lower row: Fluorescence dye marked nanostructures produced by electron beam lithography in a polymer shown with normal resolution (c) and then using STED (d). The raw data in (c) and (d) after imaging was subjected to linear deconvolution to mathematically slightly enhance the resolution. In spite of this, the image in (c) does not show the structures, whereas the images with the STED microscope can resolve lines of 80 nm width and 40nm separation between the lines (d). Thus, the optical imaging is moving into domains that were until now reserved for the electron microscope. Image: MPI for Biophysical Chemistry


This is an interesting development. I don't believe I have ever heard of an actual scientific law being re-written in modern science, so this begs the question just how many of our law are really still just theoretical laws? What applications will this have in Nanotechnology? I must admit I don't fully understand this new development but it does have me excited nontheless.

Original work:

[1]Hell, S. W.
Strategy for far-field optical imaging and writing without diffraction limit.
Phys. Lett. A 326(1-2): 140-145 (2004)
[2] Westphal, V., and S. W. Hell
Nanoscale Resolution in the Focal Plane of an Optical Microscope.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 94: 143903 (2005)
[3] Westphal, V., J. Seeger, T. Salditt and S. W. Hell
Stimulated Emission Depletion Microscopy on Lithographic Nanostructures.
J. Phys. B: At. Mol. Opt. Phys. 38: S695 - S705 (2005)
[4] Kastrup, L., H. Blom, C. Eggeling, S. W. Hell
Fluorescence Fluctuation Spectroscopy in Subdiffraction Focal Volumes.
Phys. Rev. Lett. 94: 178104 (2005)




posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 06:27 PM
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Very cool and good find - if they could only find a way to do the same for telescopes we'd be in extra-solar planet hunting heaven.... Looks like Abbe's law will hold for a while there....



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 06:36 PM
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The old law still applies, they just worked out a way around it.



[edit on 2-6-2005 by HowardRoark]



posted on Jun, 2 2005 @ 06:37 PM
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Breakin' The Law, Breakin' The Law

Wow, extremely cool! This is pretty big news, and indeed cause for some reflection -- if you'll pardon the pun -- on the matter.

What else do we take for granted as being "fact" that really isn't?

What other limitations to we unwittingly impose upon ourselves?

This is going to have a significant impact on the rate of technological development worldwide.

Great catch!



posted on Jun, 3 2005 @ 08:39 AM
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That's pretty cool. I've done fluorescence microscopy before (back in the day), and it's cool to see things being improved.

Just letting you know, the terms "Law" and "theory" in scientific vocabulary are one in the same. Scientists just changed it because they realized things like this could be redone, just as theories always are. Times change, as does language...



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