Saddened to hear of the death of Heinrich Rohrer. Without Rohrer (and his colleague Gerd Binnig) my PhD would have looked very different, for theirs was the Nobel Prize winning invention of the scanning tunnelling microscope (STM). My thesis has quite a bit of STM work in it (to the point I actually have a page on it). Indeed I had the pleasure (or, at times, frustration!) of working with one of the first Omicron [Google Translation of German Wikipedia page] STM1s (which I seem to recall had the serial number 003 engraved upon it–certainly it was early enough to occasionally cause confusion due to later design changes).
Anyway, strange what memories a little news story can conjure up. It’s not like I spend a lot of time looking at atoms these days but there is nothing quite like seeing the Si 7 × 7 reconstruction appearing before your eyes for the fist time!