aberration blurring or distortion of an image

corrected for color aberration so image is free of unwanted color

adjustment mechanism the apparatus that moves the optic tube up and down to focus on the specimen
adsorbed a process that occurs when a gas or liquid solute accumulates  most commonly on the surface of a solid forming a molecular or atomic film; Adsorption can be physical, biological, and chemical systems, and is widely used in industrial applications such as activated charcoal, synthetic resins and water purification.
Al-Haitham, Ibn was a mathematician, astronomer, and physicist, who made significant contributions to the principles of optics and the use of scientific experiments. He was born in Basra, Iraq, then part of Buwayhids dynasty, Persia. He is considered the father of optics for his writings on and experiments with lenses, mirrors, refraction and reflection.
ambient light light coming from the surrounding environment

the opening of a lens that admits light

aquarium a container consisting of at least one transparent side in which water-dwelling plants or animals are kept. Aquaria are primarily used for fish keeping, although invertebrates, amphibians, and marine mammals are also housed in aquaria. The term combines the Latin root aqua, meaning water, with the suffix -arium, meaning "a place for relating to". A number of components are used to maintain appropriate water quality and characteristics suitable for the aquarium's residents. There are many types of aquaria, classified by the organisms maintained or the type of environment that is mimicked.

Greek mathematician, engineer, and physicist. Among the most important intellectual figures of antiquity, he discovered formulas for the area and volume of various geometric figures, applied geometry to hydrostatics and mechanics, devised numerous ingenious mechanisms, such as the Archimedean screw, and discovered the principle of buoyancy.                   


portion of microscope that connects the lenses to the base, used to carry the microscope


muscular blood vessels that, except for the pulmonary and umbilical arteries, carry aerated blood away from the heart. They are contrasted with veins, which carry blood toward the heart.


are the largest phylum of animals and include the insects, arachnids, crustaceans, and others. More than 80% of described living animal species are arthropods, with over a million modern species described and a fossil record reaching back to the late protozoan era. Arthropods are common throughout marine, freshwater, terrestrial, and even aerial environments, as well as including various symbiotic and parasitic forms. They range in size from microscopic plankton up to forms several meters long. All arthropods are covered by a hard exoskeleton made of chitin, a polysaccharide, which provides physical protection and resistance to desiccation. Periodically, an arthropod sheds this covering when it molts.

Atomic Force Microscope (AFM)

 a very high-resolution type of scanning probe microscope, with demonstrated resolution of fractions of a nanometer, more than 1000 times better than the optical diffraction limit. The AFM was invented by Binnig, Quate and Gerber in 1986, and is one of the foremost tools for imaging, measuring and manipulating matter at the nanoscale.The term 'microscope' in the name is actually a misnomer because it implies looking, while in fact the information is gathered by feeling out the surface with a mechanical feeler.


an organism that produces complex organic compounds from simple molecules and an external source of energy, such as light or chemical reactions of inorganic compounds. Autotrophs are considered producers in a food chain.


thin pseudopods containing complex arrays of microtubules and are enveloped by cytoplasm. Axopodia are responsible for phagocytosis, by rapidly retracting in response to physical contacts. They are observed in radiolarians and heliozoans.



an ancient empire in SW Asia, in the lower Euphrates valley: its greatest period was 2800–1750 B.C.. Capital: Babylon.


a stable bottom from which the microscope is supported


the lowest level of a body of water, such as an ocean or a lake. It is inhabited by organisms that live in close relationship with (if not physically attached to) the ground, called benthos or benthic organisms.


a double concave surface that is thin at the center


a double convex surface that is thick at the center and thin at the edges

Binnig, Gerd

German physicist, Ph.D. Univ. of Frankfurt, 1978. At the IBM Research Laboratory in Zürich, Binnig and fellow researcher Heinrich Rohrer built the first scanning tunneling microscope, an instrument so sensitive that it can distinguish individual atoms. For their innovation they shared the 1986 Nobel Prize in Physics with Ernst Ruska, who invented (1933) the first electron microscope.


adapted for use by both eyes, two eyepieces


Canada balsam

also called Canada turpentine or balsam of fir, is a turpentine which is made from the resin of the balsam fir (Abies balsamea). It is the fir's resin, dissolved in essential oils, and is a viscous, sticky, colorless (sometimes yellowish) liquid, that turns to a transparent yellowish mass when the essential oils have been allowed to evaporate. Due to its high optical quality, its refractive index (n = 1.55, very close to that of glass), and its purity it is mainly used in optics as an invisible-when-dry glue for glass.


are the smallest of a body's blood vessels measure 5-10 μm and connect arterioles and venules, and are important for the interchange of oxygen, carbon dioxide, and other substances between blood and tissue cells


paired appendages on the rear-most segments of many arthropods, including insects and arachnids but not crustaceans. Cerci often serve as sensory organs, but they may also be used as weapons or copulation aids, or they may simply be vestigial structures.


a scientist trained in the science of chemistry. Chemists study the composition of matter and its small-scale properties such as reaction rates, and other chemical properties. Chemists use this knowledge to learn the composition, structure, chemical reactivity, and properties of unfamiliar substances, as well as to reproduce and synthesize large quantities of useful naturally occurring substances and create new artificial substances and useful processes.


organisms that obtain energy by the oxidation of electron donating molecules in their environments. Chemotrophs can be either autotrophic or heterotrophic


a long-chain polymeric polysaccharide of beta-glucose that forms a hard, semitransparent material found throughout the natural world. Chitin is the main component of the cell walls of fungi. It is also a major component of the exoskeletons of arthropods, such as the crustaceans (e.g. crab, lobster, and shrimp), and the insects (e.g. ants, beetles, and butterflies), and of the beaks of cephalopods (e.g. squids, and octopus). Chitin has also proven useful for several medical and industrial purposes


a green pigment found in most plants, algae, and cyan bacteria. Its name is derived from ancient Greek: chloros = green and phyllon = leaf. Chlorophyll absorbs most strongly in the blue and red but poorly in the green portions of the electromagnetic spectrum, hence the green color of chlorophyll-containing tissues like plant leaves.


organelles found in plant cells and eukaryotic algae that conduct photosynthesis. Chloroplasts absorb sunlight and use it in conjunction with water and carbon dioxide to produce sugars. Chloroplasts are members of a class of organelles known as plastids.


an organelle found in eukaryotic cells. Cilia are thin, tail-like projections extending approximately 5–10 micrometers outwards from the cell body. There are two types of cilia: motile cilia, which constantly beat in a single direction, and non-motile cilia, which typically serve as sensory organelles. Along with flagella, they make up a group of organelles known as undulipodia.


The name ciliate comes from the presence of hair-like organelles called cilia, which are identical in structure to flagella but typically shorter and present in much larger numbers with a different undulateing pattern than flagellum. Cilia occur in all members of the group and are variously used in swimming, crawling, attachment, feeding, and sensation.

color aberration

failure of a lens to provide an image that is free of unwanted color

compound microscope

consisting of an objective and eyepiece


curved inward, lenses thinner in the middle


a lens or combination of lenses that gather and concentrate light in a specified direction


curved outward, lens thicker in the center

cosmic rays

radiation of extremely high penetrating power that originated in outer space; consists partly of high energy atomic nuclei

course adjustment

makes optic tube move up and down quickly; focus is not refined

cover slip or glass

a piece of very thin glass or plastic used to cover material on a glass microscope slide


De Broglie, Louis

was a French physicist and Nobel Prize laureate. He also served as Perpetual Secretary of the French Academy of Sciences in Paris.


the quality of the magnified image the microscope reproduces


culture tube that can be kept as a habit for microorganisms

depth of focus

of electric and magnetic radiation from gamma rays having a wavelength of .001 angstroms to long waves having a wavelength of more than 1,000,000 kilometers


a major group of eukaryotic algae, and are one of the most common types of phytoplankton. Most diatoms are unicellular, although some form chains or simple colonies. A characteristic feature of diatom cells is that they are encased within a unique cell wall made of silica (hydrated silicon dioxide). These walls show a wide diversity in form, some quite beautiful and ornate, but usually consist of two asymmetrical sides with a split between them, hence the group name. Fossil evidence suggests that they originated during, or before, the early Jurassic Period.


a Greek mathematician who was the first to prove the focal property of a parabolic mirror and studied the cissoid curve as part of an attempt to duplicate the cube


a pair of electric charges of equal magnitude but opposite sign, separated by some, usually small, distance


an abnormal condition of an organism that impairs function. In human beings, "disease" is often used more broadly to refer to any condition that causes discomfort, dysfunction, distress, social problems, and/or death to the person afflicted or similar problems for those in contact with the person.

dry mount

term used in making slides for the microscope that require no liquid to encase the specimen



country in northern Africa

Einstein, Albert

was a German-born theoretical physicist who is best known for his theory of relativity and specifically mass-energy equivalence, E = mc2. He was awarded the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics "for his services to Theoretical Physics and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.

Electromagnetic wave spectrum

the range of all possible electromagnetic radiation; the frequency range of electromagnetic radiation with wavelengths from thousands of kilometers down to fractions of the size of an atom.

electromagnetic wave

a wave produced by the acceleration of an electric charge and propagated by the periodic variation of intensities of, usually, perpendicular electric and magnetic fields

electron microscope

an optical instrument in which a beam of electrons focused by means of an electron lens is used to produce an enlarged image of a minute object on a fluorescent screen or photographic plate.

empty magnification

enlarges objects but adds no detail


Greek mathematician who applied the deductive principles of logic to geometry, thereby deriving statements from clearly defined axioms.


organisms with a complex cell or cells, where the genetic material is organized into a membrane-bound nucleus or nuclei. Animals, plants, and fungi are mostly multicellular, while many sorts of protest are unicellular. Eukaryotic cells also contain membrane-bound organelles such as mitochondria and chloroplasts.

eye relief

the point at which looking through an optical instrument is comfortable


used to transfer small quantities of liquids. They are usually glass tubes tapered to a narrow point, and fitted with a rubber bulb at the top. Pasteur pipettes come in various lengths. They are sold in boxes of hundreds, and are generally considered cheap enough to be disposable. However, so long as the glass point is not chipped, the Pasteur pipette may be washed and reused indefinitely.


lenses at the viewing end of a microscope or telescope



a process of energy production in a cell in an anaerobic environment (with no oxygen present). In common usage fermentation is a type of anaerobic respiration, however a more strict definition exists which defines fermentation as respiration in an anaerobic environment with no external electron acceptor. Sugars are the common substrate of fermentation, and typical examples of fermentation products are ethanol, lactic acid, and hydrogen.

fine adjustment

focusing mechanism that refines the image


cells with one or more whip-like organelles called flagella. Some cells in animals may be flagellate, for instance the spermatozoa of most phyla.


a long, slender projection from the cell body, composed of microtubules and surrounded by the plasma membrane. In small, single-cell organisms they may function to propel the cell by beating in a whip-like motion; in larger animals, they often serve to move fluids along mucous membranes such as the lining of the trachea.

flame cell

a specialized excretory cell found in the Platyhelminthes (except the tubellarian order Acoela); these are the simplest animals to have a dedicated excretory system. Flame cells function like a kidney, removing waste materials.

focal distance the distance from object to specimen
focal point

light rays that converge to a single point


to see an image clearly

food chain

describes the feeding relationships between species in an ecological community


silica-rich cell wall of a diatom; divided into two halves, and the intricate patterns of depressions and projections on each half help to identify individual diatom species



an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer, and philosopher who is closely associated with the scientific revolution. His achievements include the first systematic studies of uniformly accelerated motion, improvements to the telescope, a variety of astronomical observations, and support for Copernicanism.

gamma rays

high frequency, penetrating radiation emitted from the nucleus of a radioactive atom and lowering the energy level of the nucleus

green algae

include unicellular and colonial flagellates, usually but not always with two flagella per cell, as well as various colonial, coccid, and filamentous forms. There are about 1000 — 2000 species of green algae. Many species live most of their lives as single-cells, other species form colonies or long filaments.



an organism that requires organic substrates to get its carbon for growth and development. A heterotroph is known as a consumer in the food chain.


a person who pursues an activity in their spare time for pleasure


organisms that are planktonic for their entire life cycle. Examples of holoplankton include diatoms, radiolarians, din flagellates, foraminifera, amphipods, krill, copepods, salps, and jellyfish.

Hooke, Robert

was an English polymath who played an important role in the scientific revolution, through both experimental and theoretical work.

Huygens, Christian

was a Dutch mathematician, astronomer and physicist; He studied law at the University of Leiden and the College of Orange in Breda before turning to science. Historians commonly associate Huygens with the scientific revolution. Huygens generally receives minor credit for his role in the development of modern calculus. He also achieved note for his arguments that light consisted of waves.



the means by which light is used to produce an image through the microscope


the appearance of an object formed by light passing through lenses

incident light

direction of source light


the consumption of a substance by an organism. In animals, it is accomplished by taking the substance in through the mouth into the gastrointestinal tract, such as through eating or drinking. In single-celled organisms, ingestion can take place through taking the substance through the cell wall.


The most visible part of the eye of vertebrates, including humans. The iris consists of pigmented fibro vascular tissue known as a stoma. The stoma connects a sphincter muscle (sphincter pupillae), which contracts the pupil, and a set of dilator muscles (dilator pupillae) which open it.


Janssen, Hans

a spectacle manufacturer

Janssen, Zacharias

as a Dutch spectacle-maker of Middleburg, son of Hans Janssen. He is sometimes given the credit for inventing the first compound microscope, probably with the help of his father in the year 1590, although the origin of the microscope is a matter of debate.


Kepler, Johannes

was a German Lutheran mathematician, astronomer and astrologer, and a key figure in the 17th century astronomical revolution. He is best known for his eponymous laws of planetary motion, codified by later astronomers based on his works Astronomia nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome of Copernican Astronomy.

Knoll, Max

was a German electrical engineer. Knoll studied in Munich and at the Technical University of Berlin, where he obtained his doctorate in the Institute for high voltage technology. In 1927 he became the leader of the electron research group there, where he and his student, Ernst Ruska, co-invented the electron microscope.



juvenile form of animal with indirect development, undergoing metamorphosis (for example, insects or amphibians). The larva can look completely different from the adult form, for example, a caterpillar differs from a butterfly.


transparent part of the eye, convex in shape; that focuses an image on the retina to the back of the eye

light microscope

an optical instrument that uses visible light to resolve details from a specimen


a form of radiation that allows organisms with light sensitive organs (i.e. eyes) to see objects

Lister, Joseph

was a British surgeon who promoted the idea of sterile surgery while working at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He successfully introduced carbolic acid (phenol) to sterilize surgical instruments and to clean wounds; as a result of his work in sterilization, Listerine mouthwash was named after him.

live mount

a way to look at an organism that is still alive under the microscope

longitudinal wave

a push-pull motion that allows energy to move from one energy source (i.e. sound waves) to another


a hard protective case or sheath, as the protective coverings secreted by certain protists.



commonly used to describe physical objects that are measurable and observable by the naked eye. When applied to phenomena and abstract objects, it describes existence in the world as we perceive it. Lengths scales generally considered macroscopic roughly fall in the range 1 mm–1 km. The term macroscopic may also refer to a "larger view", namely a view only available from a large perspective. A macroscopic position could be considered the "big picture".

Magnetic Force Microscope (MFM)

a scanning probe microscope (SPM) that can map the spatial distribution of magnetism by measuring the magnetic interaction between a sample and a tip


the apparent enlargement of an object by an optical instrument

Malpighi, Marcello

an Italian doctor, who gave his name to several physiological features. He was a pioneer in using a microscope and he has also been described as a founder of comparative physiology and microscopic anatomy.


or inferior maxillary bone is, together with the maxilla, the largest and strongest bone of the face. It forms the lower jaw and holds the lower teeth in place.

Maxwell, James

was a Scottish mathematician and theoretical physicist. His most significant achievement was formulating a set of equations that for the first time expressed the basic laws of electricity and magnetism in a unified fashion. He also developed the Maxwell distribution, a statistical means to describe aspects of the kinetic theory of gases. These two discoveries helped usher in the era of modern physics, laying the foundation for future work in such fields as special relativity and quantum mechanics. He is also known for creating the first true color photograph in 1861.


 an intervening substance, such as air, through which a force acts or an effect is produced


organisms that are plank tonic for only a part of their life cycles, usually the larval stage. Examples of meroplankton include the larvae of sea urchins, starfish, crustaceans, marine worms, and most fish. After a period of time in the plankton, meroplanktons either graduate to the nekton or adopt a benthic (often sessile) lifestyle on the seafloor.


in biology,  a change from one life stage to another


an organism that is microscopic (too small to be seen by the human eye). Microorganisms can be bacteria, fungi, archaea or protests, but not viruses and prions, which are generally classified as non-living. Micro-organisms are generally single-celled, or unicellular organisms; however, there are exceptions as some unicellular protests are visible to the average human, and some multicellular species are microscopic.


a biologist that studies the field of microbiology, microbiologists can be known under different names depending on the field of microbiology they specialize in


the study of microorganisms, which are unicellular or cell-cluster microscopic organisms. This includes eukaryotes such as fungi and protests, and prokaryotes such as bacteria and certain algae. Viruses, though not strictly classed as living organisms, are also studied. Microbiology is a broad term which includes many branches like Bacteriology, Virology, Mycology, Parasitology & Others.


an instrument that uses lenses to enlarge small objects large in more detail


the routine shedding of old feathers in birds, old hairs in mammals (see also coat (dog)), old skin in reptiles, and the entire exoskeleton in arthropods.


suitable for use with only one eye



the grouping of living organisms that live in the water column of the ocean and freshwater lakes. Nekton organisms can propel themselves independent of the currents in the water mass. Some examples are adult krill, small fish, whales, and tuna; the latter two capable of substantial migrations.

Newton, Sir Isaac

was an English physicist, mathematician, astronomer, natural philosopher, and alchemist, regarded by many as the greatest figure in the history of science. His treatise Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, published in 1687, described universal gravitation and the three laws of motion, laying the groundwork for classical mechanics.


a membrane-enclosed organelle found in most eukaryotic cells. It contains most of the cell's genetic material, organized as multiple long linear DNA molecules in complex with a large variety of proteins such as histones to form chromosomes. The genes within these chromosomes make up the cell's nuclear genome. The function of the nucleus is to maintain the integrity of these genes and to control the activities of the cell by regulating gene expression.

numerical aperture

(N.A.) expresses the resolving power and brightness of image (the higher the N.A., the higher the quality of lenses)


The larval form of certain insects, such as silverfish and grasshoppers, usually resembling the adult form but smaller and lacking fully developed wings.


Oatley, Sir Charles

Professor of Electrical Engineering, University of Cambridge, 1960–1971, and developer of one of the first scanning electron microscopes. Attended the Bedford Modern School and then St. John's College, Cambridge. He was elected to the Royal Society in 1969 and knighted in 1974. He was also a founder member of the Royal Academy of Engineering.


lens at the end of a microscope nearest the object

opaline silica

silica refers to silicon + oxygen, opaline means that it has water in its molecular structure


the state of being impenetrable to light. An opaque substance transmits very little light, and therefore reflects or absorbs most of it.

optic tube

a long cylindrical tube that can move up and down to bring a specimen in focus

optical systems

when mirrors and lens are used to move light or other electromagnetic waves


relating to the science of working with lenses or mirrors or preserved


a discrete structure of a cell having specialized functions. There are many types of organelles, particularly in the eukaryotic cells of higher organisms.


Pasteur, Louis

a French chemist best known for his remarkable breakthroughs in microbiology. His experiments confirmed the germ theory of disease, and he created the first vaccine for rabies. He is best known to the general public for showing how to stop milk and wine from going sour - this process came to be called pasteurization. He is regarded as one of the three main founders of bacteriology, together with Ferdinand Cohn and Robert Koch. He also made many discoveries in the field of chemistry, most notably the asymmetry of crystals.


the synthesis of glucose from sunlight, carbon dioxide and water, with oxygen as a waste product. It is arguably the most important biochemical pathway known; nearly all life depends on it. It is an extremely complex process consisting of many coordinated biochemical reactions. It occurs in higher plants, phytoplankton, algae, some bacteria, and some protests, organisms collectively referred to as photoautotrophs

Planck, Max

was a German physicist. He is considered to be the founder of quantum theory, and therefore one of the most important physicists of the twentieth century.

plano concave

a lens with one straight side and the other side curved inwards

plano convex

a lens with one straight side with the other side curving outwards


Plastids are responsible for photosynthesis, storage of products like starch and for the synthesis of many classes of molecules such as fatty acids and terpenes which are needed as cellular building blocks and/or for the function of the plant.


rays of light (or other radiation) that exhibit different properties in different directions


are single-celled eukaryotes (organisms whose cells have nuclei) that commonly show characteristics usually associated with animals, most notably mobility and heterotrophy.


a temporary protrusion of the protoplasm, as of certain protozoans, usually serving as an organ of locomotion or prehension.


A temporary foot like extension of a one-celled organism, such as an amoeba, used for moving about and for surrounding and taking in food.


a mathematician, geographer, astronomer, and astrologer who lived in the Hellenistic culture of Roman Egypt. Although no description of his family background or physical appearance exists, it is likely he was born in Egypt, probably in or near Alexandria. Ptolemy was the author of several scientific treatises, three of which would be of continuing importance to later Islamic and European science.


the life stage of some insects undergoing transformation. The pupal stage is found only in holometabolous insects, those that undergo a complete metamorphosis, going through four life stages; embryo, larva, pupa and imago.


was an Ionian (Greek) philosopher and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. He is often revered as a great mathematician and scientist. He is best known for the Pythagorean theorem which bears his name. Known as "the father of numbers," Pythagoras made influential contributions to philosophy and religious teaching in the late 6th century BC.



the smallest quantity of radiant energy, equal to Planck's constant times the frequency of the associated radiation


radio wave

electromagnetic wave propagated through the atmosphere with the speed of light and having a wavelength of .5 cm to 30,000 meters

real image

an image which can be seen on a screen

reflected light

light that bounces off a specimen, allowing the eye to see the outer surface magnified


the change in direction of a wave due to a change in its speed. This is most commonly seen when a wave passes from one medium to another. Refraction of light is the most commonly seen example, but any type of wave can refract when it interacts with a medium, for example when sound waves pass from one medium into another or when water waves move into water of a different depth.


a scientist who devotes himself to doing studies


the ability of the microscope objective to reveal fine details

resolving power

to enlarge more detail of a specimen

Rohrer, Heinrich

a Swiss physicist and Nobel laureate. He was born in St. Gallen half an hour after his twin sister. He enjoyed a carefree country childhood until the family moved to Zurich in 1949. He enrolled in the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in 1951, where he studied with Wolfgang Pauli. His doctoral dissertation was on his work measuring the length changes of superconductors at the magnetic-field-induced superconducting transition, a project begun by Jörgen Lykke Olsen.

Ruska, Ernst

was a German physicist. Ruska was born in Heidelberg. He was educated at the Technical University of Munich from 1925 to 1927 and then entered the Technical University of Berlin, where he posited that microscopes using electrons, with waves 1,000 shorter than those of light, could provide a more detailed picture of an object than a microscope utilizing light, in which magnification is limited by the size of the wavelengths. In 1931, he built an electron lens and used several of these in a series to build the first electron microscope in 1933.


Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM)

a type of electron microscope capable of producing high-resolution images of a sample surface. Due to the manner in which the image is created, SEM images have a characteristic three-dimensional appearance and are useful for judging the surface structure of the sample.

Scanning Near-field Optical Microscope (NSOM)

a very small light source very close to the sample is scanned. Light passes through a sub-wavelength diameter aperture and illuminates a sample that is placed within its near field, at a distance much less than the wavelength of the light. The resolution achieved is far better than that which is attainable in conventional optical microscopes. Near field scanning optical microscopy (NSOM) was developed in the mid 1980's as a means to break the diffraction limit on spatial resolution attainable with optical measurement.

Scanning tunneling microscope (STM)

a non-optical microscope that scans an electrical probe over a surface to be imaged to detect a weak electric current flowing between the tip and the surface. The STM was invented in 1981 by Gerd Binnig and Heinrich Rohrer of IBM's Zurich Lab in Switzerland. Although initially greeted with some skepticism by materials scientists, the invention garnered the two a Nobel Prize in Physics (1986). The STM allows scientists to visualize regions of high electron density and hence infer the position of individual atoms and molecules on the surface of a lattice. Previous methods required arduous study of diffraction patterns and required interpretation to obtain spatial lattice structures.

Scheiner, Christopher

was a Jesuit father in the 17th century, physicist and astronomer in Ingolstadt, and co-discoverer of sunspots.

Schrodinger, Eriom

made important contributions to the development of Quantum Mechanics and received a Nobel prize in 1933, born in 1887 and died in 1961

simple microscope

enlarges an object only, does not resolve


a holder for a specimen, usually used for transmitted light

spherical aberration

distortion of light due to imperfect surface of lens

Spin Polarized Scanning Tunneling Microscope (SP-STM)

a magnetically sensitive imaging technique with ultra-high resolution


on top of the base of the microscope in which specimens are placed

starch a complex carbohydrate which is insoluble in water; it is used by plants as a way to store excess glucose.


Transmission electron microscope (TEM)

an imaging technique whereby a beam of electrons is transmitted through a specimen, then an image is formed, magnified and directed to appear either on a fluorescent screen or layer of photographic film. The first practical transmission electron microscope was built by Albert Prebus and James Hillier at the University of Toronto in 1938 using concepts developed earlier by Max Knoll and Ernst Ruska.

transmitted light

light that goes through a specimen, allowing the eye to see internal structure


the property of allowing transmission of light through a material. It is the noun form of the word transparent (for example, glass is usually transparent.)

transverse wave

wave whose displacement is perpendicular to the direction of propagation, as a surface wave of water




an antigenic preparation used to establish immunity to a disease. The term derives from Edward Jenner's use of cowpox ("vacca" means cow in Latin), which, when administered to humans, provided them protection against smallpox, which Pasteur and others perpetuated. Jenner realized that milkmaids who had contact with cowpox did not get smallpox. The process of distributing and administrating vaccines is referred to as vaccination.

Van Leeuwenhoek, Antonie

was a Dutch tradesman and scientist from Delft, Netherlands. He is commonly known as "the Father of Microbiology". Born the son of a basket maker, at age 16 he secured an apprenticeship with a Scottish cloth merchant in Amsterdam. He is best known for his work on the improvement of the microscope and for his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology.


Any of the blood vessels that carry blood toward the heart from the body's cells, tissues, and organs. Veins are thin-walled and contain valves that prevent the backflow of blood. All veins except the pulmonary vein carry blood with low levels of oxygen.

virtual image

an illusionary image that is seen by an observer through a lens but cannot be projected on a screen

visible light

electromagnetic radiation to which the organs of sight react, ranging in wavelength from 4000-7000 angstroms and that travels at a speed of 186,000 miles per second; it can be described as a wave, corpuscular, or quantum motion

Von Ardenne, Manfred

a German scientist and inventor. He took out an enormous number of patents in the fields of physics, medicine, television and radio technology, nuclear technology and space research.



the distance between repeating units of a wave pattern. It is commonly designated by the Greek letter lambda (λ). In a sine wave, the wavelength is the distance between the midpoints of the wave

wet mount

a glass slide holding a specimen suspended in a drop of liquid (as water) for microscopic examination; also: a specimen mounted in this way

working distance

the distance between the front of the objective when it is focused on a specimen and the top of the cover glass.



a form of electromagnetic radiation, with a shorter wavelength than light, capable of penetrating solid material and of ionizing gases




the heterotrophic component of the plankton that drift in the water column of oceans, seas, and bodies of fresh water