The fundamental principle behind stochastic optical reconstruction microscopy (STORM)  is that the activated state of a photo-switchable molecule must lead to the consecutive emission of sufficient photons to enable precise localization before it enters a dark state or becomes deactivated by photobleaching. Additionally, the sparsely activated fluorescent molecules must be separated by a distance that exceeds the Abbe diffraction limit (in effect, greater than approximately 250 nanometers) to enable the parallel recording of many individual emitters, each having a distinct set of coordinates in the lateral image  plane. 

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