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  • Microscope Resolution: Concepts, Factors and Calculation

    In microscopy, the term ‘resolution’ is used to describe the ability of a microscope to distinguish detail. In other words, this is the minimum distance at which two distinct points of a specimen can still be seen - either by the observer or the microscope camera - as separate entities. The resolution of a microscope is intrinsically linked to the numerical aperture (NA) of the optical components as well as the wavelength of light which is used to examine a specimen. In addition, we have to consider the limit of diffraction which was first described in 1873 by Ernst Abbe. This article covers some of the history behind these concepts as well as explaining each using relatively simple terminology.
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  • A Brief History of Light Microscopy – From the Medieval Reading Stone to Super-Resolution

    The history of microscopy begins in the Middle Ages. As far back as the 11th century, plano-convex lenses made of polished beryl were used in the Arab world as reading stones to magnify manuscripts. However, the further development of these lenses into the first microscopes cannot be attributed to any one person. It took the ideas and designs of many scientists and scholars to produce instruments capable of strong magnification.
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  • Video Talk by Joseph Gall: Early History of Microscopy

    Joseph Gall takes us through the history of early microscopes and the discovery of the cell. Compound microscopes were invented alongside the telescope in the 17th century; however these microscopes were not widely used until the late 19th century due to optical aberrations. In the meantime, simple microscopes were used throughout the 1700s and 1800s to make major discoveries in biology, including the first descriptions of the nucleus, cilia, cells, bacteria, and protozoans. Once optics improved in the mid to late 1800s, compound microscopes were used to discover chromosomes, mitosis, and other cellular structures.
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  • Microscopes Put to the Test with Severe Conditions: ISO Standard for Resistance of Optical Instruments to Fungus and Mold Growth

    Microscopes and other optical instruments can be affected during use by environmental factors. The environment depends on the geographic location and conditions of the place where the instrument is put to use. Usually, microscopes are manufactured in a way to ensure instrument robustness to a variety of conditions.
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  • How to Clean Microscope Optics

    Clean microscope optics are essential for obtaining good microscope images. If they are dirty, the microscope should be cleaned to avoid a loss of quality. If you decide to do this yourself, you should be extremely careful not to damage the sensitive microscope optics.
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  • Optical Microscopes – Some Basics

    The optical microscope has been a standard tool in life science as well as material science for more than one and a half centuries now. To use this tool economically and effectively, it helps a lot to understand the basics of optics, especially of those essential components which are part of every microscope.
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