Friday, October 2, 2015

Earth's Beauty under the Microscope

Bernardo Cesare is a Professor of Petrology at the Department of Geosciences of the University of Padova, Italy. His scientific interests include metamorphism and melting of rocks, mineralogy, and the study of inclusions in minerals. He extensively uses photomicroscopy to describe the subjects of study and their morphological features.

Cesare's photomicrographs were captured with a digital reflex camera mounted on a polarizing microscope. After shooting the image, no manipulation is involved. The interference colors are the result of natural propogation of polarized light into minerals, and of the use of the microscope compensator λ. In order for the rock sections to be transparent, all rock samples are cut, sliced, and thinned down to a 30-micron (0.03mm) thickness and mounted on a glass holder. This is the standard "thin section" research technique of geologists.

Polarizing microscopy image of Charoite Rocks.
Charoite, A Rock from Russia © Bernardo Cesare

Polarizing microscope image of Agat.
Agat, A Rock from Brazil © Bernardo Cesare

Polarizing microscopy images of Tiger's Eye from South Africa.
Tiger's Eye from South Africa © Bernardo Cesare

Sugar under a polarizing microscope.
Sugar Crystals from a drying drop of Liquer © Bernardo Cesare

Sugar crystals under the polarizing microscope using the compensator.
Sugar © Bernardo Cesare

Polarizing microscopy image of a plastic bag.
Fragment of a Vacuum Plastic Food Bag © Bernardo Cesare

Polarizing microscopy image of rock thin sections and minerals.
Rock Deformations © Bernardo Cesare

Thank you to Bernardo Cesare for sharing his images with Microscope World. To view more of his images please visit his website: