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Advanced Condenser Systems: Abbe Condensers

Sodium Chloride Crystals

The images below compare performance of the Intel Play QX3 Computer Microscope with and without the aid of an organized cone of illumination from a substage condenser containing an aperture diaphragm. These photomicrographs are unretouched and were captured with the QX3 interactive software.

Sodium is the most abundant of the alkali metals and sodium chloride, or table salt, is the most common compound of sodium. Salt has a widespread distribution in the natural world, making up about 3 percent of ocean water by weight. Since prehistoric times, salt has played an important role in human societies because of its value as a seasoning and food preservative. It's been used for religious ceremonies and for trade and barter, even serving as currency. The word "salary" was derived from the Latin word "salarium," which referred to the salt allotment that was issued to Roman soldiers.

Sodium Chloride Crystals
QX3 with mixing chamber (stock - 60x magnification)

QX3 with simple two-lens Abbe condenser
(60x magnification)

Semi-transparent and lightly stained specimens are often very difficult to image using unaided brightfield optical microscopy. The images presented here were recorded using the Intel Play QX3 microscope in transmitted brightfield mode. On the top is a digital image from a stock QX3 microscope using either auxiliary illumination provided by a fiber optic light pipe through a hole drilled into the mixing chamber, or standard illumination from the microscope's tungsten lamp and mixing chamber. The image on the bottom was recorded using the QX3 microscope body coupled to a simple two-lens Abbe low numerical aperture substage condenser. Illumination was provided by a 30 watt tungsten bulb housed in an illuminator with a heat sink, a frosted diffusion screen, and a daylight color-compensating filter.

BACK TO ABBE CONDENSER BRIGHTFIELD GALLERY

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