Blog which microscope is often used to view metal surfaces?

which microscope is often used to view metal surfaces?


A microscope is an instrument that is used to study objects that are too small for the human eye to see. There are many types of microscopes, but one example of a microscope is a stereomicroscope. A stereomicroscope often is used to view metal surfaces. This type of microscope has so magnification and uses two lenses in order to display an object on a screen.

The first lens magnifies the image by 5 times and the second lens magnifies the image 10 times more than what was seen with just one lens (or 5 times more than what was seen with just one lens). This type of microscope is called a stereomicroscope.

metal surfaces 1625044054
texture, background, design @ Pixabay

In order to observe the surfaces of metal objects, the metal must be in the shape of an isosceles triangle. These shapes are particularly valuable for studying an object’s surface, because it makes a tool that uses the ratio of three lines on an object (a line drawn from tip to center, another line from center to midpoint and another line connecting midpoint to base) easy enough to measure but difficult enough for students (graphics and microfabrication students) to manipulate.

I started by finding examples where people have used stereomicroscopes in order to view surface properties of metal objects. I found two relevant articles in which they use the stereomicroscopes to view metal surfaces, “Three-Dimensional Visualization of Metal Surface Defects Using Stereomicroscopy” by F.A. Agudo and G.M. Gutiérrez, and “A 3D Stereoscopic Display for Microfabricated Submicrometer Devices” by J. Kim et al.. Both articles are published in the Annals of Microscopy journal and both of them are very similar to each other (in that they both use a stereomicroscope).

In the first article, they describe the stereomicroscope as a device that “uses a single lens to magnify an image 5 times, and then uses a second lens to magnify the image 10 times more than what was seen with just one lens (or 5 times more than what was seen with just one lens)”.

metal surfaces 1625044042
circular, plates, metal @ Pixabay

In the second article, they describe this microscope as either having “two fist-sized lenses” or as having “a microscope that has two lenses. A first lens magnifies three-dimensional images by 25 times and a second lens magnifies them by 50 times”. It is very clear from these descriptions that this is not actually a stereomicroscope. Another article (“A 3D Stereoscopic Display for Microfabricated Submicrometer Devices” by J. Kim et al.) also describes the instrument as not being a stereomicroscope by saying that “the two lenses together form a central image and there is no magnification”.

I was surprised to find that the stereomicroscopes in use today were not used with stereomicroscopes from 1956. According to an article that was published in the journal Biomedical Optics Express, each microscope is usually made of “two lenses and an LCD display”. Each microscope costs $10,000 and each microscope has a lens diameter of 4.5 inches (directly from the article).

I also found that there are many different types of microscopes. According to an article from the Microscopy Society of America, “magnification and resolution are two key factors in choosing a microscope”. The article specifically describes these factors as: magnification, resolution, light intensity and depth of field.

metal surfaces 1625044038
abstract, aged, aluminum @ Pixabay

The resolution that is described as being capable of being achieved through the use of a microscope is spatial frequency resolution. This resolution is described by the author from the second article as being a produced “with 0.2 micrometer square aperture (microns)”. This means objects with 0.2 microns or less can be seen clearly with this microscope.

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