Polarized light microscope
Ellis, Gordon W. Leidy Laboratory of Biology, Department of Biology, School of Art and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Optical anisotropy
- Polarizing microscopes
- Rectified optics
- Modes of use
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
A microscope that utilizes polarized light to form a highly magnified image of an object. Polarizing microscopes play an important role in crystallography, petrography, microchemistry, and biology. Although all light microscopes compare poorly with electron microscopes with respect to image resolution, polarized light microscopes have the unique ability to deliver information about the submicroscopic structure of the objects being examined. They also have the advantage of being relatively nondestructive, and may be used safely with living cells. Polarized light interactions with electromagnetically anisotropic structures, down to atomic dimensions, can be measured by polarized light microscopy. The sensitivity of polarized light microscopy as well as its importance to biology have been enhanced by the use of video technology. See also: Polarized light
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