Monday, June 1, 2009

Polarized Light Microscopy

This is a polarized light image of resorcinol at 400x magnification, courtesy of Mark Simmons. Polarized light microscopy is used primarily to view crystals, minerals, geological specimens and chemicals.

Polarized light microscopy utilizes both a polarizer and an analyzer to provide contrast in specimens. Microscopes with polarization use a polarizer positioned above the light path before the specimen, and an analyzer placed in the optical path between the objective and the eyepiece or camera port. A biological microscope or stereo microscope can have a polarizing kit added on. For advanced polarizing microscopy a polarizing microscope is used.