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Advanced Condenser Systems: Abbe Condensers

Aspirin Crystallites

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 simple two-lens Abbe substage condenser containing an aperture diaphragm. These photomicrographs are unretouched and were captured with the QX3 interactive software.

Aspirin is a salicylic acid acetate with anti-inflammatory and antipyretic properties that also acts as a highly effective non-opiate analgesic. The drug crystallizes in the form of a white, needle-like powder with only a faint odor. In most cases, pharmaceutical aspirin is covered in a casing to buffer the stomach from injury that may occur from ingesting the drug directly. This coating causes the aspirin to digest in the duodenum, instead of the stomach, which is a more neutral-to-alkaline environment. Aspirin may also be useful in reducing the risk of heart attack, stroke, or other problems that may occur when a blood vessel is blocked. Side effects include loss of hearing, confusion, diarrhea, dizziness, and drowsiness.

Birefringent Aspirin Crystallites
QX3 with mixing chamber (stock - 200x magnification)

QX3 with achromatic condenser (200x magnification)

The images above were recorded using the Intel Play QX3 microscope in transmitted brightfield mode equipped with crossed polarizers and a full-wave retardation plate. On the top is a digital image from a stock QX3 microscope using auxiliary illumination provided by a fiber optic light pipe through a hole drilled into the mixing chamber. The image on the bottom was recorded using the QX3 microscope body and a simple two-lens Abbe low numerical aperture substage condenser.

BACK TO ABBE CONDENSER POLARIZED GALLERY

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