This year’s recipient of the Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics is Göttingen, Germany-based researcher Stefan W. Hell for his revolutionary discovery that resolutions far below the diffraction limit can be achieved in a fluorescence microscope using conventionally focused light, Springer announced. The STED (stimulated emission depletion) microscope Hell invented is the first optical microscope to show details at the nanoscale, in resolutions far below the light wavelength using conventional lenses. This technique opens up new possibilities in the life sciences because it allows noninvasive imaging of the inside of cells. Hell has been a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry since 1997. He is a scientific member of the Max Planck Society, adjunct professor of physics at the University of Heidelberg, honorary professor of experimental physics at the University of Göttingen and a member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences. He has received numerous research prizes, including the Prize of the International Commission for Optics (2000), the Carl Zeiss Research Award (2002) and last year's German Innovation Award. The Springer Prize is awarded by the editors-in-chief of the Springer journals Applied Physics A-Materials Science & Processing and Applied Physics B-Lasers and Optics. Hell will receive the prize and $5000 during a plenary session at LASER.World of Photonics 2007 in Munich on June 19.