Saturday, April 3, 2010

Scenes from under a microscope window

This photo is showing about 40 μm dry soda lime glass microspheres. They are perfectly spherical indeed. We use these particles to calibrate optical particle detectors e.g. Forward Scattering Spectrometer Probe (FSSP) The picture with less beads shows even tinier particles -- I will say sizes down to 5-10 μm from the same bottle. However these are the smallest sizes it gets from the microscope we used. It is not possible to detect by eye the sphericity of microspheres from the 2.1 μm bottle.

The microscope we used is a Nikon SMZ-U (Zoom 1:10) Unfortunately, our efforts were not successful in trying to show the more sphericity of Ammonium Sulfate {(NH4)2SO4} particles than Salt (NaCl) crystals. We definitely need a powerful electron microscope to confirm this riddle. See the rest of the images at my Particles titled Picasa album.
PS: In one of the pictures the hands belong to Julia Beard. Without those hands it would take me a day to finish this work. Thanks Julia for your patience and tolerating my never-ending requests.
PPS: This posting has really nothing to do with Dream Theater's Scenes from a Memory album :)

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