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Invented and built in 1985 by Calvin F Quarte (b. 1923), an American scientist, Gerd Binnig (b. 1947), a German scientist, and Christoph Gerber, a researcher at IBM, this is the first Atomic Force Microscope. The AFM works by ‘touching’ objects with the probe and reading the surface rather than looking at them. The probe is so sensitive it can also pick up individual atoms and move them around. Atomic Force Microscopes are still used today in many areas of scientific research including physics, chemistry and biology.

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Glossary: atomic force microscope

Atomic force microscope (AFM) is a very high-resolution type of scanning probe microscope, with demonstrated resolution of fractions of an Angstrom