Eric Betzig becomes the vice president of research and development at Ann Arbor Machine Company, effectively leaving academia. The company is owned by his relatives and closes in 2009.
Eric Betzig enters Cornell University and obtains his M.S degree in 1985 and his Ph.D. in 1988. He works on near-field microscopy, which uses light waves near the material's surface to obtain images.
Eric Betzig founds his own microscopy research company, NSOM Enterprises. He develops a method which can surpass the limits of traditional near-field microscopy by using a number of point sources of light. Those can be divided into classes with different optical properties. The combination of the classes leads to an image with higher resolution. However, in 1995 no such point sources exists, therefore Betzig considers the technology at its limits.
Eric Betzig becomes a group leader at the Janelia Farm Research Campus of Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 2005 he learns about fluorescent proteins which can serve as the point source of light he needs to make his method work. In 2006 he is able to create images of lysosomes and mitochondria with much higher resolution, using optical lattice microscopy. This enables the study of active viruses and molecules in living cells.
Eric Betzig, Stefan W. Hell and William E. Moerner are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2014 for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy.
Eric Betzig attends the Ann Arbor Pioneer High School. From a very early age onwards he is interested in science and technology and wants to win the Nobel Prize. Betzig often arrives hours before classes begin to work on computers.
Eric Betzig works at the Bell Laboratories in the semiconductor physics research department. He continues to work on near-field microscopy, making it more practical for biologists, allowing imaging of dead cells.
Eric Betzig founds another research firm, New Millennium Research and works on the development of optical lattice microscopy and photoactivated localization microscopy.
Eric Betzig is born in Ann Arbor, Michigan to Robert and Helen Betzig in 1960.
Eric Betzig attends the California Institute of Technology to study Physics. He graduates in 1983.