Grain size plays an essential role in the mechanical properties of materials. Learn how to overcome problems in sample preparation and how to analyze different materials like, steel, aluminium, titanium, copper and ceramics.
Polarized light microscopes have been used in classical earth science studies for the last 100 years. Since then a lot of progress has been made to increase the user friendliness, ergonomy, and optical performance of such microscopes. Still, one thing has not changed: Classical polarized light (compound) microscopes can only be used for prepared samples, because the working distance they offer is insufficient for whole samples. This article explains how earth scientists can analyze prepared and unprepared samples for polarized light applications with one single instrument, namely the Leica DVM6 M digital microscope. With the right choice of accessories it serves as a semi-quantitative polarization microscope.
Metallography is the study of the microstructure of all types of metallic alloys. It can be more precisely defined as the scientific discipline of observing and determining the chemical and atomic structure and spatial distribution of the constituents, inclusions or phases in metallic alloys. By extension, these same principles can be applied to the characterization of any material.
Polarization contrast microscopy is a convenient way to make birefringent crystalline structures like starch grains or cellulose visible without staining. This tutorial will explain the optical elements in the light path and the operating mode of polarization contrast taking the example of an inverted and motorized high-end research light microscope which can be used for transmitted light contrasting methods and fluorescence microscopy.
Differential interference contrast (DIC) microscopy is a good alternative to brightfield microscopy for gaining proper images of unstained specimens that often only provide a weak image in brightfield.
Polarization microscopy is routinely applied in material sciences and geology to identify minerals on the basis of characteristic refraction properties and colors. In biology, polarization microscopy is commonly used for identification or imaging of birefringent structures like crystals, or for imaging of cellulose in cell walls of plants and starch grains.
Gemstones have fascinated people for thousands of years. Rulers and kings used to demonstrate their power and wealth with jewel-studded insignia. Although fine jewellery is still a status symbol of the rich, we now tend to treasure these wonders of nature more for our own pleasure in beauty and harmony.
An exquisite beverage deserves a high-quality glass. Even the ancient Romans made artistically crafted drinking glasses. In the Middle Ages, Venetian glassmakers were famous for the purity of their glass. One of the oldest materials known to man, glass is used today in many areas, in which it must meet the most stringent quality standards.