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20
votes
4answers
35k views

What do ants see?

After watching some ants in my garden today, and then looking at this very illuminating demonstration, I got to wondering, about what they would see. Not specifically ants (I understand their ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Can we make images of single atoms?

I was wondering how far in imaging physics had gotten. Do we hold the technology to actually take a picture of, say, an alpha particle, or even a single atom? I realise we aren't talking about camera ...
10
votes
2answers
276 views

How do a microscope's optics expose defects in the user's vision?

I've got cataracts in both eyes. My vision is correctable to 20/30, so the cataracts are essentially a non-issue in daily living. But when I use a microscope, which I do daily, (binocular, zoom ...
9
votes
2answers
4k views

Which is the smallest known particle that scientists have actually *seen with their eyes*? [closed]

Which is the smallest particle that has been actually seen by the scientists? When I say "actually seen", (may be using some ultra advanced microscope or any other man made eye, using any wavelength ...
7
votes
1answer
155 views

Has the Nobel committee mixed up this years prizes for Physics and Chemistry? [closed]

The title of the question is tongue-in-cheek but the question remains: How does the Nobel committee delineate the fields when awarding work which is of such an inter-disciplinary nature. The chemistry ...
6
votes
2answers
225 views

PSF Measurements In Fluorescence Imaging

Quite a technical question! I have measured the Point Spread Function of 100nm fluorescent breads with my Olympus scanning head. I'm two-photon exciting the beads with a wavelength of 800nm and ...
6
votes
2answers
251 views

How does QM allow imaging of individual electron orbitals?

Question: Why does the uncertainty principle allow probing of characteristics specific to the electron orbital distribution? If you measure an electron's position/momentum, then after you measure ...
5
votes
1answer
187 views

Why does the colour of a thing change when under huge magnification?

For instance, this image: shows human eyelashes close up. The lashes look green, in fact the whole surface area has a strange tint of green Why is this?
5
votes
2answers
1k views

Optics alignment of a confocal scanning microscope

I am facing a challenge in my project regarding optical alignment. See the figure: The challenge is with the vertical optical system alignment. I considered placing a mirror and check back if the ...
4
votes
2answers
179 views

Can there be a string so thin as to be invisible, but that can still support a visible weight?

A spider web thread is very thin, yet it can support a spider. Given that the human eye visual acuity is finite, are there materials, natural or man-made, sufficiently thin that a string made from ...
4
votes
1answer
81 views

Beating the Diffraction Limit with NSOM

I am trying to understand exactly why we can beat the diffraction limit when using near-field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM). For those who aren't familiar with NSOM, check out this article: ...
4
votes
1answer
897 views

How does an electron microscope work?

I am a physics novice. Google tells me that electron microscopes work much like their optical counterparts -- but the analogy falls apart for me when I think about what I'm "viewing." Obviously, you ...
4
votes
0answers
55 views

Selecting an epi-illuminated objective for optical microscopy

I am currently trying to improve my silicon microphotography. To provide context: this is what I get with a 10x epi plan objective¹: This is what I get with 40x epi plan objectve with NA=0.65: I ...
3
votes
5answers
529 views

Isn't all light polarised?

I apologize if my question does not make sense.(I'm teaching myself microscopy.) So reading Fundamentals of Light Microscopy and electronic imaging by Douglas&Murphy, at one point the author ...
3
votes
3answers
457 views

What if $\gamma$-rays in Electron microscope?

I was referring Electron microscopes and read that the electrons have wavelength way less than that of visible light. But, the question I can't find an answer was that, If gamma radiation has the ...
3
votes
1answer
1k views

Dark and bright areas around atoms in a scanning tunnelling microscope image

Recently IBM created world’s smallest ever animation on an atomic scale video. Researchers made the animation using a scanning tunnelling microscope to move thousands of carbon monoxide molecules to ...
3
votes
1answer
69 views

What are these wavish patterns around atoms on microscopic images?

This is an IBM movie about how they move single atoms: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSCX78-8-q0 There are often some "wavish" pattern around atoms on these pictures, like below some of them marked ...
3
votes
0answers
24 views

Quantify shade-off and halo effect in phase contrast microscopy

Shade-off and halo effect introduce distortion to phase contrast images. I am trying to utilize these features to write a program which could identify spherical cells from (positive) phase contrast ...
3
votes
0answers
16 views

Resolution Limit for Energy Transition Imaging

I understand that when imaging the resolution limit can be given by Ewald's sphere which is due to the maximum amount of momentum that can be transferred. But how can we come up with a resolution ...
2
votes
2answers
318 views

Resolving power of a microscope?

I was reading up on the resolution of a microscope. I read (in some lecture notes) that the size of the limiting spot size is $1.22 \lambda f/W$. But that the smallest resolvable feature has a size ...
2
votes
3answers
103 views

How to measure thickness of an ultra-thin metal layer?

I have a sample of a metal (aluminum/oxide) layer with a gradual thickness ranging from monolayer to 100nm. This layer is deposited on a transparent substrate, like glass. How can I measure this ...
2
votes
2answers
534 views

The purpose of auxiliary lens in microscope

Can someone explain me the purpose of auxiliary lens in microscope. The specification says: ...
2
votes
1answer
52 views

Is it possible to view an atom? [duplicate]

Is it possible to view an atom? What would it look like? Would it resemble a traditional atomic diagram?
2
votes
1answer
756 views

Infinity Corrected Microscope - Building from Scratch

I took an optics course a few years back, and am trying to figure out how to build an infinity-corrected microscope from discrete optical components which are listed in references [2] (lenses) and [3] ...
2
votes
1answer
106 views

What are the theoretical prerequisites for experimental work with SEM and TEM? [closed]

What level of knowledge and in what areas would be required to perform experimental work with an SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) and a TEM (Transmission Electron Microscope) respectively? E.g. ...
2
votes
1answer
24 views

How can I simulate two fluorophores with a reticle?

Fluorophores typically emit in an incoherent fashion. I thought I could simulate two fluorophores (e.g. single molecule fluors) with a reticle. My concept was to make two small holes in a chrome ...
2
votes
0answers
173 views

Why do spatial filters use microscope objectives, and not other types of lenses?

A spatial filter is a device to 'clean up' a laser beam with an irregular intensity profile, and create a smooth Gaussian profile at the output. It is usually said (e.g. here) that you need a ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

What criterion did Abbe use?

For a microscope (correct me if I am wrong) the Rayleigh Criterion gives us: $$ R=\frac{1.22 \lambda}{NA_{condenser}+NA_{objective}}$$ But with the Abbe diffraction limit: $$ ...
2
votes
1answer
33 views

CARS microscopy

I have probably very naive question. In case of CARS microscopy http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coherent_anti-Stokes_Raman_spectroscopy we have $ω_{pr}+ω_{p}-ω_{S}$, how can we have minus $ω_S$? In ...
1
vote
2answers
331 views

Microscopy types and techniques? [closed]

I didn't get the basic difference in between the different types of microscopy. for example there are several different microscopy techniques are available such as Bright field, Dark field, Confocal, ...
1
vote
1answer
225 views

Confocal Microscopy

In the context of Confocal Microscopy literature state, "spatial rejection of out of phase light".Is that mean only light which is pass through the pinhole is used and the rest is blocked ?
1
vote
2answers
42 views

Could neutrinos be used to take high resolution pictures of atomic nuclei?

Of course, this is obviously not feasible with modern technology but is it theoretically possible?
1
vote
1answer
138 views

Stacking lenses for higher magnification (a DIY microscope)

Recently, I have made a DIY microscope stand for my phone according to these specifications. I am using a lens that I found in home, the closest match that I could find is here. I got some great ...
1
vote
1answer
48 views

Which microscopy technique is for wet condition? [closed]

I am searching for a microscopy technique in wet conditions. It must be possible to see through the specimen. ESEM is good but can't see through. TEM needs high vacuum which will boil away water. The ...
1
vote
1answer
75 views

Perfectly flat surface

Looking at microscopic images of work tops I noticed that none are perfectly flat. Is it possible to actually create a perfectly flat surface?
1
vote
1answer
129 views

Spherical and chromatic aberration correction

I have some spherical lenses which are 5mm, 1mm and 0,5 mm in diameter, having 100x, 350x and 1000x magnification respectively. While looking at blood samples, I'm having big problems with spherical ...
1
vote
1answer
82 views

Why subwavelength objects can not be seen with optical microscope?

What would happen if we would take a very small sphere around 200nm diameter and try to detect it from the most efficient optical microscope? Technically, the Rayleigh diffraction limit prevents the ...
1
vote
1answer
58 views

Why is there no fluorescence background in CARS?

In CARS (coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering), the detected signal is blue-shifted with respect to the excitation - how does this mean that there is no fluorescence or that the fluorescence can be ...
1
vote
1answer
1k views

What's the difference between microscopy and spectroscopy?

Both methods collect particles or electromagnetic waves, and in both methods it's possible to reconstruct a 2D image, which may represent morphology (AFM, LEED for example), electronic structure (STM, ...
1
vote
2answers
151 views

Software for analysing SEM or TEM images

I am looking for a software to analyse SEM and TEM images of some PLD experiments because I want to characterize the samples, like calculate the concentration of nanoparticles, size, and do some ...
1
vote
2answers
218 views

Can protons in the nucleus of an atom be aligned by electromagnetic fields?

Can protons in the nucleus of an atom be aligned by electromagnetic fields? If so can it be done around $-135°C$ zero?
1
vote
1answer
484 views

Does coverslip thickness matter for high NA oil immersion objectives?

This question is related to Impact of covering glass on lens performance. I use a 63x TIRF objective with a numerical aperture of 1.46 and oil immersion. The immersion oil has an index of ...
1
vote
2answers
100 views

Smallest object resolvable by optical microscopy

I am wondering what is the smallest object you can resolve with an optical microscope. I am aware of the equation $\delta=\frac{\lambda}{2\textrm{NA}}$ that basically gives you the resolution. ...
1
vote
1answer
64 views

What is the importance of reciprocal lattice?

Reciprocal lattice is the diffraction plot of a crystal. Now with the STM instrument we can get the get the topology of the crystal, so what is the importance of reciprocal lattice or the Brillouin ...
1
vote
1answer
307 views

Scanning electron microscope imaging

In a scanning electron microscopy, secondary electrons are defined as the electrons which obey inelastic scattering whereas backscattering electron follow elastic scattering. Now my question ...
1
vote
1answer
142 views

Electric Potential at nano scale

I’ve a got a question; and I am hopeful that you can provide any information or direct me to a better resource. I'm not a physicist; so please correct me if I'm wrong. Scanning Probe Microscopy (SPM) ...
1
vote
1answer
286 views

Calculating the magnification of an optical microscopy system

I have a microscopy system that is set up as follows : DSLR with a crop factor of 1.6x ( equivalent to magnification, I believe ) An adaptor optic, for attach the DSLR to the microscope, listed as a ...
1
vote
0answers
22 views

influence of soft iron in magnetic lenses

I'm currently working as an intern in a research group which is specialized in transmission electron microscopes. I'm reading a book from David B. Williams and C. Barry Carter : Transmission electron ...
1
vote
0answers
84 views

Why isn't the magnifying power in a compound microscope zero when image is formed at infinity?

I think, in a compound microscope, angular magnification and lateral(or linear) magnification is given by the same formula for both image at infinity and near point(D) And the formula is ...
1
vote
0answers
13 views

Could a Kelvin Probe Force Microscope, in principal, be used as a voltmeter?

This question goes into the very nature of the work function that the Kelvin Probe Force Microscope (KPFM) measures. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelvin_probe_force_microscope Let's say, you have a ...