Microscopy is the field of using microscopes to view objects. There are three well-known branches of microscopy, optical, electron and scanning probe microscopy.

The term resolution is the minimum distance between distinguishable objects in an image, although the term is loosely used by many users of microscopes and telescopes to describe resolving power.

Source: Wikipedia


Virtual Microscopes

Virtual microscopes can emulate a scanning electron (or other) microscope and they allow users to zoom up to 3,600X magnification and focus into a variety of built-in microscopic samples.

Virtual Lab 2.0

The Virtual Electron Microscope


Virtual Microscope Training



Optical Microscopes

old microscope

Optical or light microscopy involves passing visible light transmitted through or reflected from the sample through a single or multiple lenses to allow a magnified view of the sample.


Optical microscopes, through their use of visible wavelengths of light, are the simplest and hence most widely used type of microscope.


Typical magnification of a light microscope is up to 1500x with a theoretical resolution limit of around 0.2 micrometers or 200 nanometers.


Source: Wikipedia

Electron Microscopes

Low temperature scanning electron microscope a snow crystal

An electron microscope is a type of microscope that uses electrons to illuminate a specimen and create an enlarged image. Electron microscopes have much greater resolving power than light microscopes and can obtain much higher magnifications. Some electron microscopes can magnify specimens up to 2 million times, while the best light microscopes are limited to magnifications of 2000 times.



Low temperature scanning electron microscope a snow crystal courtesy of: Wikimedia


Scanning Probe Microscopy

artist impression of atomic force microscope

Scanning probe microscopy (SPM) is a branch of microscopy that forms images of surfaces using a physical probe that scans the specimen. An image of the surface is obtained by mechanically moving the probe in a raster scan of the specimen, line by line, and recording the probe-surface interaction as a function of position.

Examples of scanning probe microscopes are the atomic force microscope (AFM), the scanning tunneling microscope and the photonic force microscope.




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About Jack Hanson

Jack Hanson

Jack is not your typical future technology blogger. As an early baby boomer, he's lost a bit of his bang. Not intending to be cruel, Facebook recently notified him that his schoolmates at General Equivalency Diploma, really want to be friends again. His yearly income averages just above his monthly urges. In spite of that, or because of it, Jack has a lust for living, a thirst for knowledge and a strong desire to contribute to a better future for all.


A nerdy social misfit with a head full of phobias and a quirky sense of humor, his personality has been described as "Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory--without the genious part."


Jack Hanson is solely responsible for the articles, editing and web design of FutureForAll.org.

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