John Yarwell Compound Microscope (circa 1687)

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Movie Gallery

Movie Gallery

Welcome to the Molecular Expressions Movie Gallery, containing animated videos of selected samples from our various photomicrograph collections. These videos are actually time-lapse digital image sequences that explore the effect of rotating polarization, sample rotation, and crystallization as it actually appears under the microscope.

Digital videos are provided in several playback formats to match a variety of Internet connection speeds. Visitors having the lowest baud rate connections, such as 14.4K, 28.8K, and 56.6K modems should use one of two download versions that have been compressed specifically for viewing at these slower rates. Faster connections, such as T1, cable modem, or DSL can take advantage of slightly higher quality versions of the videos that download much faster and are presented in a larger format. The best quality (uncompressed) digital videos are available as an MPEG download that can be played remotely using standard software. We invite our visitors to download and enjoy these digital microscopy videos and to even use them in the classroom. However, none of the videos on this website can be posted on remote websites (outside of Florida State University).

Cells in Motion - In multicellular tissues, such as those found in animals and humans, individual cells employ a variety of locomotion mechanisms to maneuver through spaces in the extracellular matrix and over the surfaces of other cells. Examples are the rapid movement of cells in developing embryos, organ-to-organ spreading of malignant cancer cells, and the migration of neural axons to synaptic targets. Unlike single-celled swimming organisms, crawling cells in culture do not possess cilia or flagella, but tend to move by coordinated projection of the cytoplasm in repeating cycles of extension and retraction that deform the entire cell. The digital videos presented in this gallery investigate animal cell motility patterns in a wide variety of morphologically different specimens. Requires the RealPlayer browser plug-in or Windows Media Player.

Chemical Crystals - Chemical compounds can exist in three basic phases, gaseous, liquid, or solid. Gases consist of weakly bonded atoms and expand to fill any available space. Solids are characterized by strong atomic bonding and have a rigid shape. Most are crystalline, having a three-dimensional periodic atomic arrangement. Some, such as glass, lack this periodic arrangement and are noncrystalline, or amorphous. Liquids have characteristics that fall in between gases and solids. This cinemicrographic collection presents time-lapse movies of various chemical compounds as they change physical states.

Pond Life - Freshwater ponds provide a home for a wide variety of aquatic and semi-aquatic plants, insects, and animals. The vast majority of pond inhabitants, however, are invisible until viewed under the microscope. Beneath the placid surface of any pond is a microscopic metropolis bustling with activity as tiny bizarre organisms pursue their lives; locomoting, eating, trying not to be eaten, excreting, and reproducing. In this collection of digital movies, observe the activities of microscopic organisms taken from a typical North Florida pond.

QX3 Microscope Time-Lapse Movie Gallery - Visit our gallery of time-lapse movies captured with the QX3 microscope. Many of the movies were made with a modified version of the microscope adapted for polarized light with a full-wave retardation plate in the optical pathway.

Nikon MicroscopyU Digital Movie Gallery - Sponsored by Nikon, this gallery features animated videos of specimens from a library of full-motion and time-lapse videos. The digital movies are downloadable as streaming media files that will play through a web browser using RealPlayer, which is available as a free download (basic package) or for a modest price (RealPlayer Plus). Additional information and links to are provided below. Digital movies may also be downloaded as *.MPEG files directly to your computer's hard drive for local playback.

Your web browser (Netscape, Internet Explorer, or America Online) must be configured with a RealPlayer (version 7 or higher) plug-in to enable viewing of the digital videos. The latest software version, RealPlayer 8 Basic, will provide access to RealAudio, RealVideo, live events plus more features. In most cases, the RealPlayer 8 Basic installer automatically configures your web browser so that it starts RealPlayer 8 and begins playback when you click a RealMedia link. If RealPlayer 8 does not start when you click a RealMedia link, you must manually configure your web browser. Instructions for browser configuration are available at

Minimum Windows computer system requirements are:

  • 120 MHz Intel Pentium processor or equivalent (supports audio only)

  • Windows 95 or Windows NT Service Pack 4

  • 16 MB RAM

  • 16-bit sound card and speakers

  • 65,000-color video display card

  • 28.8Kbps modem (supports audio only)

  • Internet connection and web browser (Internet Explorer 4.01 or later or Netscape 4.0 or later)

You may download the basic RealPlayer software package or the upgrade version, RealPlayer Plus, by clicking on the button link below.


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Last modification: Friday, Nov 13, 2015 at 02:18 PM
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Microscopes provided by:
Visit the Nikon website. Visit the Olympus Microscopy Resource Center website.