Microscopy Seminar

Last Wednesday, the biology department had another lunch time seminar open to anyone in the department.  This time, it was run by my PI, Dr. Wawersik, who spoke to us about transmitted and epifluoresence microscopy.  Initially I wasn’t sure how much I was going to learn.  I have used transmitted light microscopes numerous times and we use epifluoresence in the lab almost everyday, so I know the basics of both types of microscopy.  However, I have never had a formal introduction to how microscopy actually works, so I learned a ton over the hour session.  One of the things that surprised me the most about compound microscopes is just how complicated each objective lens is (which explains why the lenses are so expensive).  Each lens works to correct various aberrations, such as chromatic aberrations that arise because different colors of light have different frequencies and therefore are refracted at different angles through the lens.  We also talked about resolution and which lenses provide the best resolution for different purposes.  I can now actually understand each part of a label on an objective lens!

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