Thursday, August 29, 2013

Adhesive Under the Microscope

Microscope World recently had a customer who needed to view an opaque adhesive during their production process. The adhesive samples were placed under the MT7100 metallurgical microscope and viewed using the DCM5.1 microscope camera (5 mega pixels).

100x Magnification

200x Magnification

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Huvitz Metallurgical Microscopes

The Huvitz HRM 300 series metallurgical microscopes offer high quality optics with the most advanced model (HRM300BD-RT-3D) including a Z-axis motorized stage and 3D profile imaging software.

The Huvitz Metallurgical microscopes are manufactured in Korea. The microscopes use the Infinity Corrected Optical System and include Plan Fluor Epi Apochromat objectives that are made for use with brightfield or brightfield and darkfield depending on the microscope purchased.

metallurgical microscope
The microscopes can be utilized for brightfield, Nomarski DIC and polarized light. The 100w illuminator ensures that specimens are fully illuminated. Each microscope includes four objectives: 5x, 10x, 20x and 50x. Additional LWD objectives are available. Each microscope includes a 5-year warranty.

Using the advanced profiler system included in the HRM300BD-RT-3D, the depth of a specimen can be defined and the software will capture image slices that can be compiled into one composite in-focus image, or into a multi-color height profile image

metallurgical microscope HRM300
For more information on the Huvitz HRM300 series please email Microscope World.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Back to School Science Tips

It's once again that time of year, new classes, new teachers and an entire year of learning and discovery await kids as they head back to school. Here are a few tips to keep things flowing smoothly at home, especially in the science area.

  1. Use binders for organizing projects or subjects. If you have multiple kids use separate binders for each child. Create a science binder that you will fill up all year long with images and projects. You might want to create sub-folders in your science binder for categories such as Earth Science, Physical Science, Reptiles, etc.
  2. Create a small science safety kit and put it in a place where your kids know how to locate it should they need to. It doesn't have to be advanced - but if you build the kit with your kids it will make them aware of the importance of science safety.
  3. Create a science storage area where the kids can access supplies when needed, but also know how to put scientific instruments away to protect them. If you have a microscope, store it in a case, or keep the microscope dust cover on it when not in use. 
    Microscope Carrying Case
  4. Many science projects are time-intensive, or require use of space that may need to be used for other activities (for example - the kitchen dinner table). If you have space, set up a small card table that can be used for science projects. Make sure the kids understand the importance of clean up, but also that if their project takes 3 days to complete it is ok to leave the project on that table while it is in-process.
  5. If you can, take time to meet your child's science teacher. Often schools have tools such as microscope cameras or microscope prepared slide kits that kids can use outside of class. There may be items that can't be removed from the science class, but the students might be able to come into the science room for use outside of class hours.
Make science fun and kids will continue to enjoy the discovery process. Have a great new school year!

Friday, August 23, 2013

Reflected Light Microscope

A reflected light microscope has light that shines down onto the stage from above. There are a few types of microscopes that offer reflected light:
  • Stereo Microscope
  • Metallurgical Microscope
  • Shop Microscope (Field Microscope)
The Stereo Microscope is the most commonly used type of reflected light microscope. This microscope is used in schools for dissecting, in manufacturing for viewing small parts, and by hobbyists for viewing coins or stamps under the microscope.

Stereo zoom microscope with 150w halogen fiber optic ring light.
Metallurgical microscopes offer high magnification, with light that shines down through the objective lens. The metallurgical microscope was created for viewing very small parts of objects that do not allow light to pass through them such as metal, ceramic, stone, etc.

Huvitz HRM300B-R Reflected Light Metallurgical Microscope   

These black fibers from a carpet seam were captured using the MT7100 metallurgical microscope.

A shop microscope (or field microscope) is a small hand-held microscope that can be easily carried out into the field for viewing specimens. These shop microscopes are also frequently used to view fabric during the manufacturing process. The small penlight provides reflected magnification directly onto the object being viewed.

Shop Microscope
If you have questions about which type of microscope is best for viewing opaque objects please email us.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Multi Focus Imaging Software

Microscope World's most popular software is the Advanced Panasis Software. One of the features of this microscope software includes the ability to capture multiple microscopy images and combine them. The manual multi-focus imaging (extended depth of focus tool) allows the combination of many unfocused images into one sharp image. This process is useful when the subject height is greater than the available depth of focus, resulting in an image that is partially out of focus. Multiple images captured in sequence from top to bottom are combined into a composite in-focus image.

The images below were captured using a MT7100 metallurgical microscope at 100x magnification. The edge of a flooring sealant material was captured six times, at different focal depths and the microscope software was used to combine them into the final crisp, clear image.

Image #1
Image #2
Image #3
Image #4
Image #5
Image #6
Composite image combining the above six images using the Multi-Focus feature on the microscope software.

The microscope cameras that include this advanced software include:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Microscope Disc Diaphragm

Student compound biological microscopes have either an iris diaphragm or a disc diaphragm beneath the stage. The diaphragm controls the amount of light that is allowed to pass through the microscope stage and up toward the objective lens and ultimately the eyepiece.

The MW4-H4 biological University microscope has an iris diaphragm that controls the light that passes through the stage. An iris diaphragm has a lever on the side that is simply moved to open or close the iris, allowing more or less light to flood the specimen.

A disc diaphragm typically has five or six holes of different sizes drilled into a circular disc that is attached beneath the stage. When the disc is rotated, varying amounts of light will pass through the stage.

The disc diaphragm is used to vary both the intensity and size of the cone of light that is projected upward into the prepared slide. There is no set rule regarding which setting should be used for a particular objective lens magnification. Rather, the setting is a function of the transparency of the specimen on the stage and the amount of contrast required to view the specimen.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Microscope Rack Stop

What exactly is a microscope rack stop? The microscope rack stop was created to protect the microscope objectives from hitting the stage. It is often easy when looking through the microscope and focusing, to be unaware of how close the microscope objective is to the stage (or glass slide on the stage). Before the microscope rack stop was invented, objectives were sometimes damaged when they hit the stage.

Rack stop shown on the MW2-HD1 digital kids microscope.
The rack stop is a small screw that does not allow the stage to move too close to the objective lenses, and keeps the microscope slide at a safe distance from the objectives. The rack stop is set by the factory when the microscope is manufactured.

It is occasionally necessary to adjust the rack stop. For example, if you were using very thin microscope slides, you might not be able to get the objective lens close enough to your specimen in order to focus properly. In this instance, the rack stop would need to be adjusted so you could focus the microscope and get a clear and crisp image. Adjusting the rack stop simply involves adjusting the screw so it is either higher or lower and will allow the stage to move more or less in one direction.

If you adjust the rack stop on your microscope, make sure you test the focusing mechanism before looking through the microscope, so that you do not accidentally damage the objective lenses.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Watch Microscope

Viewing small parts on a watch can be tedious on the eyes. By using a stereo microscope with low magnification, viewing the innards of a watch is simple.

The back plate of this watch was viewed using the MW5-L5 trinocular microscope with a 0.5x auxiliary lens. The auxiliary lens was used both to increase the working distance and also to decrease magnification. Images were captured with the DMC3.1 microscope camera. Total magnification of this captured watch photo was approximately 2.5x.

Back of watch captured under the stereo microscope.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

A Science Project: Dirt, Bacteria and Soap

After a long day of playing outside scrape underneath your fingernails and put the dirt (or whatever is under your nail!) on a blank microscope slide. Place the slide under a biological microscope. What do you see? Chances are there might be some dirt particles, maybe some carpet fibers and most likely bacteria. If you can, take a picture of what was under your nail.

Next, take a small scraping of a bar of soap and place it under the microscope. What does the soap look like? Soap is typically made of oils (coconut, palm, olive, etc.), water and Lye (sodium hydroxide). These items are cooked together and when they harden, a bar of soap is formed. The combination of these items breaks down bacteria and dirt that has bonded with the skin when you scrub your hands with water. This washes away bacteria and dirty particles. (You can learn about making your own soap here!)

Bacteria captured under the microscope at 400x magnification.

After scrubbing your hands well with soap, take another sample from beneath your finger nail. Can you see any bacteria or particles under the microscope? There should be a lot less particles to look at under the microscope once you wash your hands well, but chances are you will still find some particles to view under the microscope. If there are not fewer particles, you may want to scrub your hands a bit more with soap next time you wash them!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Biological Microscope Magnifications

A basic biological microscope (or laboratory microscope) typically has magnifications of 40x, 100x, and 400x. More advanced compound microscopes will also have 1000x magnification. Any high power microscope that offers magnification above 1000x is providing empty magnification and will not produce a clear resolution image. For magnifications above 1000x a scanning electron microscope is required.

The images below are frog's blood cells under a biological microscope at each of the three most common magnifications.

40x magnification

100x magnification

400x magnification

Notice that the nucleus of each cell can be viewed at both 100x and 400x magnification, but at 400x magnification it is much easier to make out.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tablets for Microscopy

Rather than using the conventional microscope camera + laptop computer for capturing images under the microscope, you may want to consider using a microscope tablet camera. The microscope tablet camera is available in both a 7" and 9.7" tablet. The 9.7" camera tablet includes advanced measuring software.

Boom stand stereo microscope with tablet camera.
Some benefits and features of using a tablet camera include:
  • 4GB built-in memory.
  • Android tablet with touch screen (can be used for other applications).
  • Built-in c-mount threads that connect to microscope c-mount adapter.
  • Mini SD card slot.
  • Larger screen directly on microscope, rather than having to use cables and place a computer near the microscope system.
If you are interested in a quote on a tablet microscope system, please email Microscope World.