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The book tackles the infinitesimally small from an instrumental point of view: from Galileo’s microscope to modern-day super microscopes, with the ultimate goal of observing nanoscale life, i.e. DNA and proteins.

The most recent instruments enable us to see the constituent parts of our surroundings in ever-finer detail: hundreds of micrometres, to hundreds of nanometres and even supersight, which can locate objects with almost atomic precision.

The author revisits the turning points in history (e.g. Galileo and Italian Institute of Technology) as well as technology (super-resolution, super-eyes, ai) to show us how, ever since rainbow light first met matter through a curved piece of glass, highly sophisticated technologies have been developed leading to highly effective solutions for increasingly accurate studies and diagnoses.

Alberto Diaspro is Nanophysics Director at IIT, Professor of Applied Physics at the University of Genoa and an Academic at the Ligurian Academy of Science and Humanities. His research team is world leader in Optical Nanoscopy and Nanoscale Biophysics.