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  1. Resolution

    The resolving power of a microscope is the most important feature of the optical system.

  2. Introduction to Fluorescence Microscopy

    Basic equipment and techniques necessary for observing specimens in fluorescence.

  3. Polarized Light Microscopy

    Using crossed polarized illumination to examine birefringent materials.

  4. Refractive Index (Index of Refraction)

    The ratio of the speed of light in a vacuum to that in the imaging medium of a microscope.

  5. Introduction to Phase Contrast Microscopy

    A mechanism to translate variations in phase into corresponding changes in amplitude.

  6. Numerical Aperture

    The ability of a microscope objective to gather light and resolve fine specimen detail.

  7. Principles of Birefringence

    Defined as double refraction of light in a transparent, molecularly ordered material.

  8. Depth of Field and Depth of Focus

    Fundamentals of the axial or longitudinal properties of microscope objectives.

  9. Introductory Confocal Concepts

    A discussion of point scanning and pinhole detection using photomultipliers.

  10. Introduction to Fluorescent Proteins

    Genetically-encoded fluorescent probes that are revolutionizing live-cell imaging.

  1. Total Internal Reflection Fluorescence (TIRF) Microscopy

    TIRF restricts the excitation and detection of fluorophores to a thin region of the specimen.

  2. The Diffraction Barrier in Optical Microscopy

    Limitations on optical microscope resolution imposed by physical laws.

  3. Microscope Objective Specifications

    The nomenclature and abbreviations inscribed on the objective protective barrel.

  4. Multiphoton Microscopy

    Mode-locked pulsed lasers are used for deep tissue imaging and optical sectioning.

  5. Basics of FRET Microscopy

    Using fluorescence to examine dynamic interactions between probes in living cells.

  6. Introduction to Polarized Light

    Discussion of birefringence, Brewster's angle, and various forms of polarized light.

  7. Field of View

    The eyepiece field diaphragm determines the diameter (size) of the microscope viewfield.

  8. Introduction to Charge-Coupled Devices (CCDs)

    Fundamental properties of CCDs, including pixels, readout, noise, and timing.

  9. Working Distance and Parfocal Length

    The distance between the objective front lens or the nosepiece and the specimen.

  10. Introduction to Microscope Objectives

    Objectives are responsible for image formation and the quality of images.