Ernst Ruska Biography
(Inventor of Electron Microscope)
Birthday: December 25, 1906 (Capricorn)
Born In: Heidelberg
German physicist and academician Ernst Ruska is best known for the invention of the electron microscope, one of the most important inventions of the 20th century. A pioneer in the field of electron optics, he was awarded one half of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986 in recognition of his contribution to the field. The son of a professor, he developed a keen interest in technology while still a young student and studied at the Technical University of Munich before moving to the Technical University of Berlin. It was as a student that he began the research that eventually led to the development of the electron microscope. He completed his PhD the same year he built his first electron microscope, and continued his research in the field. He also collaborated with his brother, a medical doctor who developed the use of the electron microscope for medical and biological applications. Besides being a noted physicist, he was also a highly respected professor of electron optics and microscopy and was active in this role till his retirement. As a prominent physicist he received numerous awards and honors for his work including Duddell Medal and Prize, Robert Koch Prize, and the Nobel Prize in physics. Throughout his academic career, he contributed to a number of books, publications, and scientific papers in the area of electron optics.