Questions tagged [microscopy]

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26
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3answers
2k views

Why no proton microscopes? Proton diffraction; or proton scattering experiments? Proton crystallography?

I am asking a (relatively) 'low-energy' question here, not about things like the Large Hadron Collider... There are tons of articles everywhere, including such places as Wikipedia and ScienceDirect, ...
23
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4answers
44k 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 ...
13
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3answers
2k 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 ...
11
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2answers
2k 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 7x-30x)...
9
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2answers
10k 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
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3answers
2k views

Why don't we have proton/neutron microscopes?

According to wave-particle duality it should be possible for protons/neutrons to have wavelengths shorter than those of electrons having similar velocity. So why don't we use proton/neutron ...
7
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1answer
182 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
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2answers
370 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 it,...
6
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2answers
281 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 ...
5
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1answer
579 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
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2answers
3k 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 ...
5
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1answer
3k views

Compound microscope vs astronomical telescope

In compound microscope, we take such an objective lens which has small focal length. While in astronomical telescope, we take such an objective lens which has large focal length. Why don't we use ...
5
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1answer
2k views

Can we use a telescope as a microscope and vice versa? [duplicate]

I got this question after I leant about microscopes and telescopes from my textbook. In a simplified compound microscope, the objective has a smaller aperture and a smaller focal length compared to ...
5
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1answer
253 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: ...
5
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0answers
332 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 can ...
4
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5answers
3k 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 ...
4
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2answers
525 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
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2answers
6k views

What is the difference between "magnification" and "magnifying power"? [closed]

I've read it a lot of times. But I've not been able to get around magnifying power and magnification of a simple microscope and the difference between them. Can someone explain?
4
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1answer
132 views

How do electron microscopes not get obstructed by atoms in the air? [closed]

How do different electron microscopes avoid just scanning the atoms between the probe and the surface of the object that is actually being scanned?
4
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1answer
1k views

How was microscope-level zoom created by a lens and a water droplet?

It was a rainy night. My glasses were speckled with fresh water droplets. I looked at a distant street light and I was surprised to see cells — a single cell was zoomed in to the level where I could ...
4
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1answer
125 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 ...
4
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2answers
2k views

Magnification in compound microscope

I was studying about compound microscope here I don't see why we multiply linear magnification of objective with angular magnification of eyepiece. Shouldn't it be both angular or both linear? Can ...
4
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1answer
1k 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
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2answers
5k views

How is the Rayleigh criterion connected to the Abbe limit?

I am interrested whether one can derive a formula for the point resolution (like Abbe did) of an optical system from the Rayleigh criterion (without the use of small angle approximation i.e. $\rm{sin}(...
4
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0answers
322 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
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3answers
1k 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
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1answer
8k 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 ...
3
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2answers
3k 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
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1answer
364 views

Derive resolving power of Heisenberg Microscope

Heisenberg's microscope used to demonstrate the Observer Effect/Uncertainty Principle begins by stating that the resolving power of any microscope is $$\Delta x=\frac{\lambda}{\sin \epsilon}$$ Being $\...
3
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1answer
204 views

What are these microscope circles?

This is a photo I have taken with a microscope (100x objective). What are these circles? When I rotate the eyepiece or the objective they stay still. Are they particles on the mirror? In this case ...
3
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3answers
447 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 ...
3
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1answer
3k 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] ...
3
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3answers
11k views

How do I read a scanning electron microscopy (SEM) image?

I'm trying to figure out the magnification of this image. Can anyone explain how to read the numbers at the bottom? What do they mean and how can I determine the magnification from them?
3
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2answers
824 views

Error calculation of physical quantities calculated from a image

I have an assignment related with the physical characterization of some images taken in a SEM (microscope). I have images of some salt grains and the goal is to find the area and perimeter of those ...
3
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2answers
556 views

Why $\rm Pt$-$\rm Ir$ Alloy or Tungsten is used for the tip in scanning tunneling microscopy?

Just want to know the properties which qualify these materials to be used as the same.
3
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1answer
370 views

What is the likely source of these interference/noise patterns in my DIY laser micro-projector?

A little background: I've chopped up a small LCoS "Pico Projector" and turned it into a micro-projector. E.g. I removed all the projection lenses and replaced them with basically a microscope ...
3
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1answer
627 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 ...
3
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1answer
229 views

Why is resolution half the wavelength?

My biology textbook says: The general rule is that the limit of resolution is about one half the wavelength of the radiation used to view the specimen. This means anything smaller than half the ...
3
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0answers
608 views

Infinity Corrected Microscope vs. $4f$ imaging system

This questions concerns three types of microscope systems and the differences between them. Let me lay out my understanding of these three types of systems. I am imagining imaging with a camera so ...
3
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0answers
1k views

Simulating a noisy image: Poisson Noise Clarification

I'm currently working to simulate an image that mirrors the output of a CMOS camera we have in the lab. My images include Poisson (photon) noise as well as a gaussian (readout) noise. My issue is ...
3
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0answers
2k views

A lot of high power microscopes have 2500x magnification, why that specific number?

I've been shopping around for a microscope, and I've noticed something I didn't really expect. Across different brands, across different times (look at some "vintage stuff"), many many microscopes ...
3
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0answers
291 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: $$ R=\frac{\lambda}{NA_{...
3
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0answers
27 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
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3answers
412 views

Why viruses cannot be seen?

With the coronavirus pandemic, a lot of websites are publishing articles about viruses. In particular, I've seen some of these stating that viruses cannot be seen because they are so tiny they cannot ...
2
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2answers
1k 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
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1answer
526 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 ?
2
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3answers
56 views

Microscope and dual nature of light

Does a light microscope also prove the particle nature of light? As in electron microscope there is either transmission or absorbance of electrons to create an image, hence the question above!
2
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1answer
37 views

If ordinary electron microscopes have wavelengths 5,000 times or more shorter than visible light, why can't they see atoms?

Electron microscopes can easily 'see' down to .1 nanometers (1 ångstrom) or less, correct? And a single hydrogen atom, in its ground state, is about .106 nanometers (Bohr diameter) wide, right? So ...
2
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2answers
38 views

Can microscope lenses be non-spherical?

Most lenses are spherical, but... Are there elliptical, parabolic or hyperbolic microscope lenses? (I asked a similar question, about telescopes, on Astronomy S.E.; I hope this is not considered '...
2
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2answers
441 views

How does an electron beam condenser work?

For example, a scanning electron microscope has multiple condensers that "focus" the beam into a smaller spot size. How does a condenser actually change the direction of electron flow in a non-uniform ...

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