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The Amazing Electron microscope
The Amazing Electron Microscope
Standard light microscopes opened up a veritable world of uncharted territory when first released. Through the use of directed light passing through a stage they were able to produce the first close up views of an amazing microbial world. Unfortunately, light microscopy is unable to resolve objects which are separated by less than 0.2 microns and for this reason is limited to which microorganisms it can view.
Enter the Electron microscope.
The electron microscope was invented by German scientists in the confusing days following the end of World War 2. During the eventual collapse of Hitler's Germany the United States was able to deploy specialist units tasked with scouring Germany's countryside for research materials and technical advances. During these subsequent searches a working Model of an Electron Microscope was recovered from Hitler's personal physician. The microscope was considered a major intelligence prize and was immediately dispatched back to the U.S to be studied by leading experts in the field.
After an exhausting review process it was discovered that the microscope worked by bombarding tiny electrons against the mounted microorganism. This was a major advance for American microbiologists as due to the relative size of the electrons the resolution power of the device was simply astounding. Never before had the medical and research scientists been able to enter the world of the Virus.
The Electron Microscope essentially works by firing electrons against a mounted sample and by measuring the response, similar to how a sonar functions. By measuring the rate of return the Electron Microscope is able to map the surface of the mounted sample and provide a stunning pictorial review of it.
Rather than prisms or lenses focusing the beam in an EM, they use electro-magnets to stimulate and focus the electron particles traveling down through the stages. Due to the fact that air molecules will scatter and distort the path of the electrons, the inside of the unit is kept in a state of vacuum.
The benefits of an Electron microscope are great in that its resolving power is enormous and far exceeds the levels of a standard light instrument. Unfortunately, they are extremely expensive and rather large which generally makes them the sole purview of research labs and universities.
The EM has been a significant medical advance in the 20th century and is directly credited with the diagnosing of many viral diseases which has allowed treatment protocols to be established.
expert guides, electron, microscope, science, microbiology
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