Frits Zernike (July 16, 1888 – March 10, 1966) was a Dutch physicist and winner of the Nobel prize for physics in 1953 for his invention of the phase contrast microscope, an instrument that permits the study of internal cell structure without the need to stain and thus kill the cells.
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- I am impressed by the great limitations of the human mind. How quick are we to learn, that is, to imitate what others have done or thought before. And how slow to understand, that is, to see the deeper connections. Slowest of all, however, are we in inventing new connections or even in applying old ideas in a new field.
- His Nobel lecture, "How I Discovered Phase Contrast" (11December 1953)