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William Esco Moerner (usually known as W.E. Moerner), born 1953, received his B.S. in Physics with Top Honors, B.S. in Electrical Engineering with Top Honors, and his A.B. in Mathematics summa cum laude from Washington University in 1975 followed by his M.S. and Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1978 and 1982, respectively. He has received the Roger I. Wilkinson National Outstanding Young Electrical Engineer Award (1984), the Earle K. Plyler Prize from the American Physical Society (2001), Fellowships in the American Physical Society, Optical Society of America, American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Membership in the National Academy of Sciences (2007), the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2008), and the Irving Langmuir Prize in Chemical Physics (2009).

W.E. Moerner is the Harry S. Mosher Professor at Stanford University in the Chemistry department, with a courtesy appointment in Applied Physics. Areas of research and interest include: single-molecule spectroscopy and imaging, single-molecule techniques, physical chemistry, chemical physics, biophysics, nanophotonics, and nanoparticle trapping.

Although born in California, W.E. Moerner grew up in Texas, which, as he says, explains why he goes by his initials. His unabbreviated name is William Esco Moerner.

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