2016 Student Research Conference:
29th Annual Student Research Conference

Phase Contrast Microscopy: Viewing Invisible Subjects
Matthew R. Evers
Dr. Eduardo Velasco, Faculty Mentor

In this talk I discuss the advantages of a phase contrast microscope over standard bright field microscopy. I will explain the mathematical theory of how such a microscope works and the implications these mathematical insights have on the construction of the microscope. The phase contrast microscope is mathematically interesting because it relies on a different property of light than bright field microscopes. The mathematics reveal physical constraints on the several aspects of the microscope among which are requirements imposed on the light source, the geometry of the microscope and the subject. In order for the microscope to produce a clear image, those constraints must be met. The physical restrictions on the construction are not substantially more tedious than an average microscope. In biology, the conditions on the subject limit the use of this form of microscopy to view only small specimens such as cells. The advantage of the ability to view invisible specimens outweighs the disadvantage of the restriction on the sample.

Keywords: Microscopy, Invisible Objects, Phase Contrast, Physics, Mathematics


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: -2
Location: MG 1096
Time: 1:15

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