Interference   Leave a comment

Microscopes can do a lot more than just simple imaging. Here are some images I took of water on a glass slide, using a 10X objective lens and some clever optical techniques:

There are interference fringes due to the varying height of the water. The green one is what most people think of, becasue the light is monochromatic. This was taken using a green narrowband excitation filter (501 nm for those keeping track at home) and a fura-2 filter cube. The filter cube is designed for fluorescence imaging at two specific wavelengths- 340 and 380 nm, with emission at 510 nm. Fortunately, the excitation side of the cube allows the green (501 nm) light to pass, where it is directed onto the sample and reflects back. We used this technique at NASA to observe contact line motion and wetting behavior for a flight experiment (which is currently running on the space station).

The color one uses my new quad filter cube. The incident light is wide-band (white light), and thus a wide range of colors can pass through the system. The interference fringes are colored, because each wavelength corresponds to a particular thickness of water.



Posted October 15, 2010 by resnicklab in Pedagogy, Physics, pic of the moment, Science

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