Interactive Java and Flash Tutorials

Interactive Java and Flash tutorials have been developed to help students explore complex concepts in all phases of optical microscopy, the physics of light and color, photomicrography, and digital imaging technology. The tutorials are embedded within web pages that contain accompanying discussions about the subject phenomenon and instructions for use and control of the applets.
Interactive Tutorial Sections
  • Interactive Java Tutorial Index

    Programmed with Visual J++, our Java applets take advantage of the mathematical power of Java combined with images and graphics to produce interactive tutorials that can be controlled and modified by the user. All tutorials are controlled by a combination of slider bars, radio buttons, and pull-down menus as will be described in detail in the lower portions of this page.

  • Interactive Flash Tutorial Index

    Built with current Flash programming technology, these tutorials combine three-dimensional graphics and images with interactive animations that explore a variety of concepts. Similar to Java applets, Flash tutorials are controlled by slider bars, pull-down menus, and radio buttons.

Featured Tutorials
  • Matching Fluorescent Probes with Filter Blocks

    Modern fluorescence microscope instrumentation employs a combination of interference filters and a dichromatic beam splitter to satisfy the excitation and emission requirements of the fluorescent probe(s) used to label the specimen. This interactive tutorial enables visitors to determine optimum choices among current Nikon fluorescence filter blocks for maximizing the efficiency of excitation and emission with specific fluorescent probes.

  • Fluorescent Protein Biosensors

    By creatively fusing fluorescent proteins to biopolymers that perform critical functions involved in various aspects of physiological signaling, research scientists have developed a host of new molecular probes that are useful for optical live-cell imaging of important processes such as calcium wave induction, cyclic nucleotide messenger effects, membrane potential fluctuations, phosphorylation, and intracellular protease action. This tutorial explores how these unique sensors operate.

  • Microscope Alignment for Köhler Illumination

    Perhaps one of the most misunderstood and often neglected concepts in optical microscopy is proper configuration of the microscope with regards to illumination, which is a critical parameter that must be fulfilled in order to achieve optimum performance. The intensity and wavelength spectrum of light emitted by the illumination source is of significant importance, but even more essential is that light emitted from various locations on the lamp filament be collected and focused at the plane of the condenser aperture diaphragm. This interactive tutorial reviews both the filament and condenser alignment procedures necessary to achieve Köhler illumination.

  • Digital Camera Resolution Requirements for Optical Microscopy

    The ultimate resolution of a charge-coupled device (CCD) or complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor is a function of the number of photodiodes and their size relative to the image projected onto the surface of the imaging array by the microscope optical system. When attempting to match microscope optical resolution to a specific digital camera and video coupler combination, use this calculator for determining the minimum pixel density necessary to adequately capture all of the optical data from the microscope.