The Physics and Engineering of Advanced Microscopes for Biological Discovery

Date: 
Monday, February 29, 2016 - 4:15pm
Author/Speaker: 
Affiliation: 
HHMI
Public Lecture: 
Yes
Webcast: 

Over the course of my career, I’ve been involved in the development of several novel microscope technologies: near-field optics, single molecule localization, lattice light sheet, structured illumination, and adaptive optics.  In each case, the process has involved determining the customer’s (i.e., biologists) needs, rummaging through a physicist’s bag of tricks to see what might help solve their problem, and putting in the blood, sweat, and tears needed to engineer a practical solution when the reality turns out to be much messier than the original physical picture.  I will describe this process, and some pitfalls to avoid, with the hope of illustrating a few general principles for the pursuit of impactful applied science.