Optical Basics: From the Converging Lens to the Compound Microscope

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Knowing the optical basics can be a great help for working at the microscope. This article describes the main components of optical microscopes, such as lenses, objectives and eyepieces, and explains elementary functions such as refraction, diffraction and reflection. You will read about the basic functioning principles of magnifiers and the “simple microscopes” derived from them, and finally also the principles of the “compound microscopes”.

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What is Photomanipulation?

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The term photomanipulation describes a wide range of techniques that enable the microscopist the transition from passive observer to instigator of events by offering a way of interacting with their sample via targeted illumination. Typically researchers are trying to observe specific processes of interest in order to understand the underlying biological process. Microscopists are often forced to hunt through large populations of cells or acquire hours of time laps footage before they’re able to observe events of interest and in many cases it’s simply not possible to observe certain processes using conventional microscopy techniques alone. Photomanipulation tools enable the microscopist to initiate biological events, precisely adjusting sample labeling, biological activity, local chemical environments and in some instances physically destroy parts of their specimen.

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Free Webinar On-Demand: Analyze grain size on microstructures the way you need

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Grain size plays an essential role in the mechanical properties of materials. Learn how to overcome problems in sample preparation and how to analyze different materials like, steel, aluminium, titanium, copper and ceramics.

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Five Questions Asked: Prof. Dr. Jacco van Rheenen speaks about the most important considerations when imaging deep into mouse tissue

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When operating a confocal microscope, or when discussing features and parameters of such a device, we inescapably mention the pinhole and its diameter. This short introductory document is meant to explain the significance of the pinhole for those, who did not want to spend too much time to dig into theory and details of confocal microscopy but wanted to have an idea about the effect of the pinhole.

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