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The Microscope - Volume 69, Third Quarter 2022

IN THIS ISSUE

On the cover:
Scales of a monarch butterfly wing imaged with a scanning white light interferometer microscope. The fine laminar structure and ridges that produce the colors are visible. The ridges are <1 µm wide and ≈2 µm high. See Inter/Micro 2022 — International Microscopy Conference, page 109. (Photomicrograph courtesy of Kevin Brady/Tredegar Surface Protection LLC)



Editorial | A Homecoming for Microscopists

Gary J. Laughlin
The Microscope 69:3, p ii, 2022

Excerpt: The third quarter issue of The Microscope has historically been designated as the Inter/Micro issue, featuring the proceedings from the current year’s conference. This third quarter issue of 2022 is no exception. We (taking a cue from the rest of the world) determined this year that it was safe to resume closer-to-normal activities since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. And so after a two-year break, the 72nd annual Inter/Micro conference was delivered on time — in September this year rather than June — in-person at McCrone Research Institute, and with a full schedule, including 25 presentations by 22 speakers. It was a remarkable showing under the circumstances for all the uncertainty that transpired during the last two years.



A Low-Cost Fiber Optic Visible Microspectrometer for the Small Forensic Science Laboratory

Thomas A. Kubic, Mircea A. Comanescu, and Tiffany J. Millett
The Microscope 69:3, pp 99 – 107, 2022

Abstract: The logical first step in any traditional forensic visual examination of trace evidence samples is color comparison. However, comparing the color of two objects to determine if a common origin exists is largely subjective, unless the colors are far apart on the spectrum. To aid in the discrimination process, instrumental methods such as microspectrophotometry have been employed. A number of commercial units have been available over the years to make transmission, reflectance, and fluorescence measurements on these types of evidence, although many of these current and past units are quite costly. This paper describes the use of an Ocean Optics USB-2000+ fiber optic array detector (spectrometer) connected to existing laboratory microscopes and a laptop PC for such measurements. This spectrometer performed more than adequately for the determination of reflectance and transmission visible spectra of glass chips and dyed fibers.



Inter/Micro 2022 — International Microscopy Conference

Gary J. Laughlin and Dean Golemis
The Microscope 69:3, pp 109 – 122, 2022

Excerpt: McCrone Research Institute in Chicago was pleased to hold the Inter/Micro international microscopy conference again on Sept. 20 – 23, 2022, after a two-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This 72nd annual gathering of professional and amateur microscopists featured research talks on the first two days, covering advancements in instrumentation, new techniques, and practical applications in various fields of microscopy and microanalysis. Speakers focused on light microscopy, SEM, TEM, EDS, microspectrophotometry, electron backscatter diffraction, ultra-high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with high-resolution mass spectrometry, μ-Raman and FTIR spectroscopy, microchemistry, forensic trace evidence, and materials analysis.



Critical Focus | Coming Up for Air

Brian J. Ford
The Microscope 69:3, p 123 – 134, 2022

Excerpt: Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere are rising faster than anytime in history, fueling record-breaking temperatures and elevated sea levels. Is our extinction imminent?

Publishing is power. Reading diverts the mind, captures the consciousness, and can exert a profound influence on how you behave. Now…relax, let your mind engage with my words, and take a deep breath as you gently inhale. You see? You did exactly as I told you. Such is the subliminal power of the written word. On second thought, it might be the overriding influence of carbon dioxide (CO2) acting powerfully on the brain as a parahormone. Although it’s something we do all the time, about once every 5 seconds, breathing is an extraordinary phenomenon.



Tricks of the Trade | An Alternative to the Traditional Coverslip Gripper, Particle Disperser, and Crusher

Meggan King Dempsey and Gary J. Laughlin
The Microscope 69:3, pp 135 – 137, 2022

Abstract: When using glass slides, glass coverslips, and liquid mounting media for sample preparation in light microscopy, it is essential to have well-dispersed particles in order to facilitate the characterization and identification of individual particles. The traditional way to disperse or redistribute particles under the coverslip and flatten the mounting medium is by using the eraser end of an ordinary pencil as a means to “grip” the glass coverslip and move it around by hand pressure in a controlled manner using the pencil shaft as a handle. By pressing the eraser on the coverslip and sliding the coverslip in a circular pattern, particles are dispersed individually and the mounting medium is more easily flattened and spread throughout the underside of the coverslip.



Microscope Past: 45 Years Ago | A Holographic Attachment for the Light Microscope

J.G. Dodd
The Microscope 69:3, pp 138 – 142, 2022
Originally published in The Microscope, Volume 25, First Quarter, pp 55 – 67, 1977.

Abstract: An attachment for making holograms through a light microscope is described. The attachment consists simply of a modified eyepiece, which uses half of the object field as a reference wave. Together with an inexpensive laser, the attachment permits holography with any microscope equipped with a camera. Reconstructed holograms are shown and the special case of the hologram formed at the focused image plane is discussed in some detail. It is shown that in this case there is no requirement of coherence for reconstruction and excellent reconstructions may be accomplished using diffuse white light. The cost of such a reconstruction is loss of depth of field.



Corrections | The Dispersion Staining Technique and Its Application to Measuring Refractive Indices of Non-opaque Materials, with Emphasis on Asbestos Analysis

The Microscope 69:3, pp 143, 2022

In the article “The Dispersion Staining Technique and Its Application to Measuring Refractive Indices of Non-opaque Materials, with Emphasis on Asbestos Analysis” by Shu-Chun Su (The Microscope Volume 69, Second Quarter 2022), the Figure 7 illustration on page 59 is an error and does not depict the “light path of the phase contrast microscope,” as stated in the caption. It is the light path of a darkfield microscope.

Also, “Table 5. λ m and t to RI Conversion for Chrysotile in Cargille 1.550 (E)” on page 63 has incorrect temperature ranges for α and γ. Download/view the PDF of Table 5 with the corrected temperature ranges, 17° to 29° C.

The Microscope regrets the errors.



Afterimage | Garlic



Kelly Brinsko Beckert — Microtrace LLC
The Microscope 69:3, p 144, 2022

The papery skin of a garlic bulb (Allium sativum) mounted and cleared in glycerine:alcohol; crossed polars and Red I compensator. Width of image is 500 µm. Best overall winner of the Inter/Micro 2022 photomicrography competition.



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