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New book on history electron microscopy including Leiden Physics

On February 2nd the book Beelden zonder weerga appears, written by professor in science history Dirk van Delft and biochemist Ton van Helvoort. They describe the rich history of electron microscopy, which comes to a conclusion in the final chapter with the current state-of-the-art ESCHER microscope from Leiden physicists Ruud Tromp and Sense Jan van der Molen.

Van Delft and Van Helvoort wrote the book because they see a trend in which the technology behind scientific discoveries often receives little attention. The authors argue that for example the electron microscope barely got any attention when Ben Feringa won the 2016 Nobel Prize, and when the first gravitational waves were measured, media showed little interest in the technology behind the incredible precision of the detectors.

The electron microscope itself plays the lead role in the book, instead of the usual suspects—the pioneers. This approach enables the authors to follow the technology’s development from a broader perspective. Still, the pioneers’ personal struggles are amply discussed.

On Friday February 2nd from 15:30 to 17:00 the authors present ‘Beelden zonder weerga’ in museum Boerhaave. Entrance is free. Register through this link.

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