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The Tyndall Effect occurs when light passes through a transparent medium that has a
lot of small particles in it, an example of this would be a flashlights beam passing through
water in a jar. If we take two examples we will be able to understand it better -
One jar with just water
a second jar with water & a small bit of milk
When the beam is passed through the first jar it simply passes straight through and
emerges at the other side exactly the same as when it went in. However, when we pass the
same beam through the second jar something strange happens the Tyndall effect.
As you can see from the image below, the jar on the right is plain tap water. The jar
on the left is tap water plus a couple of teaspoons of milk. Even this small amount is
enough to make the Tyndall effect occur.

Explanation of The Tyndall Effect

What is happening in the second jar is that the light is entering the jar and being
bounced off the individual milk molecules. As we all know light is made of spectrum of
many colors, comprising all the colors of a rainbow. The portion of light that is being
scattered around the inside of the jar is the blue section of the spectrum, as a result the
beam has taken on a blueish tinge while it is inside the jar. This also means that the light
exiting the jar is missing its blue portion, it will therefore have a more reddish color.

Everyday examples of the Tyndall Effect

This effect can be seen when the sun sets as the sky changes color depending on how
low the sun is and as a result how much atmosphere the suns light must pass through.
The Tyndall Effect can also be see occurring in everyday life if you have ever noticed
the blueish color of smoke coming from a 2 stroke engine, or even a four stroke engine (a
our stroke showing blue smoke usually mean the piston rings are damaged or completely
gone. The Tyndall Effect is also the reason why the sky blue.

Snell's law (also known as the SnellDescartes law and the law of refraction) is a
formula used to describe the relationship between the angles of incidence and refraction,
when referring to light or other waves passing through a boundary between two different
isotropicmedia, such as water, glass and air.
In optics, the law is used in ray tracing to compute the angles of incidence or
refraction, and in experimental optics and gemology to find the refractive index of a
material. The law is also satisfied in metamaterials, which allow light to be bent
"backward" at a negative angle of refraction with a negative refractive index.
Although named after Dutch astronomer Willebrord Snellius (15801626), the law
was first accurately described by the scientist Ibn Sahlat the Baghdad court in 984. In the
manuscript On Burning Mirrors and Lenses, Sahl used the law to derive lens shapes that
focus light with no geometric aberrations.
Snell's law states that the ratio of the sines of the angles of incidence and refraction is
equivalent to the ratio of phase velocities in the two media, or equivalent to the reciprocal
of the ratio of the indices of refraction:

with each as the angle

measured from the normal of the boundary, as the velocity of light in the respective
medium (SI units are meters per second, or m/s) and as the refractive index (which is
unitless) of the respective medium.
The law follows from Fermat's principle of least time, which in turn follows from the
propagation of light as waves.


Reflection is the change in direction of a wavefront at an interface between two

different media so that the wavefront returns into the medium from which it originated.
Common examples include the reflection of light, sound and water waves. The law of
reflection says that for specular reflection the angle at which the wave is incident on the
surface equals the angle at which it is reflected. Mirrors exhibit specular reflection.
In acoustics, reflection causes echoes and is used in sonar. In geology, it is important in
the study of seismic waves. Reflection is observed with surface waves in bodies of water.
Reflection is observed with many types of electromagnetic wave, besides visible light.
Reflection of VHF and higher frequencies is important for radio transmission and for
radar. Even hard X-rays and gamma rays can be reflected at shallow angles with special
"grazing" mirrors.


The speed of light in vacuum, commonly denoted c, is a universal physical constant

important in many areas of physics. Its value is exactly 299,792,458 metres per second
because the length of the metre is defined from this constant and theinternational standard
for time. This is, to three significant figures, 186,000 miles per second, or about 671
million miles per hour. According to special relativity, c is the maximum speed at which
all matter and information in the universe can travel. It is the speed at which all massless
particles and changes of the associated fields (including electromagnetic radiation such
aslight and gravitational waves) travel in vacuum. Such particles and waves travel at c
regardless of the motion of the source or the inertial frame of reference of the observer. In
the theory of relativity, c interrelates space and time, and also appears in the famous
equation of massenergy equivalence E = mc2.
The speed at which light propagates through transparent materials, such as glass or
air, is less than c. The ratio between cand the speed v at which light travels in a material is
called the refractive index n of the material (n = c / v). For example, forvisible light the
refractive index of glass is typically around 1.5, meaning that light in glass travels at c /
1.5 200000 km/s; the refractive index of air for visible light is 1.000293, so the speed of
light in air is 299705 km/s or about 88 km/s slower thanc.
In some cases, light and other electromagnetic waves can be thought to be moving
"instantaneously", but for long distances and very sensitive measurements their finite
speed has noticeable effects. In communicating with distant space probes, it can take
minutes to hours for a message to get from Earth to the spacecraft, or vice versa. The
light we see from stars left them many years ago, allowing us to study the history of the
universe by looking at distant objects. The finite speed of light also limits the theoretical
maximum speed of computers, since information must be sent within the computer from
chip to chip. The speed of light can be used with time of flight measurements to measure
large distances to high precision.
Ole Rmer first demonstrated in 1676 that light travelled at a finite speed (as opposed to
instantaneously) by studying the apparent motion of Jupiter's moon Io. In 1865, James
Clerk Maxwell proposed that light was an electromagnetic wave, and therefore travelled
at the speed c appearing in his theory of electromagnetism. In 1905, Albert Einstein
postulated that the speed of light with respect to any inertial frame is independent of the
motion of the light source, and explored the consequences of that postulate by deriving
the special theory of relativity and showing that the parameter c had relevance outside of
the context of light and electromagnetism. After centuries of increasingly precise
measurements, in 1975 the speed of light was known to be 299792458 m/s with a
measurement uncertainty of 4 parts per billion. In 1983, the metre was redefined in the
International System of Units (SI) as the distance travelled by light in vacuum in
1/299,792,458 of a second. As a result, the numerical value of c in metres per second is
now fixed exactly by the definition of the metre.

Visible light comprises only a tiny fraction of the entire electromagnetic radiation
spectrum, yet it contains the only region of frequencies to which the rods and cones of the
human eye will respond. The wavelengths that humans are typically able to visualize lie
in a very narrow range between approximately 400 and 700 nanometers. Humans can
observe and respond to stimuli created by visible light because the eyes contain
specialized nerve endings that are sensitive to this range of frequencies. However, the
remainder of the electromagnetic spectrum is invisible.
A wide variety
of sources are
responsible for
emission of
radiation, and are generally categorized according to the specific spectrum of
wavelengths generated by the source. Relatively long radio waves are produced by
electrical current flowing through huge broadcast antennas, while much shorter visible
light waves are produced by the energy state fluctuations of negatively charged electrons
within atoms. The shortest form of electromagnetic radiation, gamma waves, results from
decay of nuclear components at the center of the atom. The visible light that humans are
able to see (the spectrum is illustrated in Figure 1) is usually a mixture of wavelengths
whose varying composition is a function of the light source.
In our everyday lives, we are bombarded by an enormous spectrum of
electromagnetic radiation, only a portion of which we are able to actually "see" as visible
light. When venturing outside, a vast majority of the light visible to humans is emitted
from the sun, which also produces many other frequencies of radiation that do not fall
into the visible range. Inside, we are exposed to visible light that originates from
artificial sources, primarily fluorescent and incandescent tungsten devices.
At night, natural light is produced by celestial bodies, such as the moon, planets, and
stars, in addition to the periodic Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), and the occasional
comet or meteor ("shooting star"). Other natural light sources include meteorological
lightning, volcanoes, forest fires, plus some biochemical sources of visible light
(bioluminescence). The biological light sources include the familiar lightning bugs
("fireflies") and more exotic glows from the sea, including bioluminescent species of
bacteria, algae, dinoflagellates, jellyfish, comb-jellies (ctenophores), and some species of
Visible Light Wavelength and Perceived Color
Wavelength Range
340-400 Near Ultraviolet (UV; Invisible)
400-430 Violet
430-500 Blue
500-570 Green
570-620 Yellow to Orange
620-670 Bright Red
670-750 Dark Red
Over 750 Near Infrared (IR; Invisible)

Table 1
Table 1 contains a listing of the apparent color distribution perceived by humans for a
number of narrow wavelength bands in the visible light spectrum. Relating specific colors
to a region of wavelengths enables the differentiation between different tones, hues, and
shades. It is possible for many different spectral distributions to produce identical color
sensations (a phenomenon known as metamers). For example, a yellow color sensation
may be caused by a single wavelength of light, for instance 590 nanometers, or it may be
the result of viewing two equal amounts of light having individual wavelengths, such as
580 and 600 nanometers. It is also possible to view the color yellow as a narrow
distribution encompassing all wavelengths between 580 and 600 nanometers. With
regards to the human visual system, the same argument holds for all colors in the visible
spectrum. However, recent studies indicate that some species (most notably, birds) can
discriminate between colors perceived as metamers by humans.
Incandescent Light Sources
Early humans were without a reliable source of light during the long nights, but they
could occasionally find and collect burning wood from bush fires, and then keep the
flames blazing in a campfire for a short period of time. As knowledge progressed, man
discovered that sparks, and subsequently fire, could be generated by striking certain
stones together (such as flint and iron pyrite) or by aggressively rubbing wood against
wood. Once these techniques were mastered, man could produce fire whenever it was
When a fire burns, chemical energy is released in the form of heat and light. The
burning fuel, whether it is grass, wood, oil, or some other combustible material, emits
gases that are heated by the enormous chemical energy generated during combustion,
making atoms in the gas glow or incandesce. Electrons within the gas atoms are
promoted to higher energy levels by the heat, and light is released in the form of photons
when the electrons relax to their ground state. The color of a flame is an indication of the
temperature and how much energy is being released. A dull yellow flame is much cooler
than a bright blue flame, but even the coolest flame is still very hot (at least 350 degrees

Although tar and

rags were employed
to produce early
torches, the first
practical step in
controlling fire
occurred when the oil
lamp was invented.
Early lamps over
15,000 years old
(Figure 2) have been
discovered, made
from rocks and shells,
which burned animal
fat and plant oils.
Before gas lighting
was invented, there
was a tremendous demand for animal oil. The primary source of this oil was the tallow
produced by boiling down fat tissues obtained from sea animals, such as whales and
seals. Oil lamps eventually evolved into candles that were formed by casting hardened
tallow or beeswax, as illustrated in Figure 2. Early candles generated quite a bit of smoke,
but not much light. Eventually, it was discovered that paraffin wax, when properly cast
with an impregnated cloth wick, produced a relatively bright flame without a significant
amount of smoke.
During the nineteenth century, natural gas lighting became widespread throughout
many of the major towns and cities of Europe, Asia, and the United States. Early
gaslights operated by producing a jet of burning gas (a quite dangerous situation), while
later models were fitted with a mantle, or fine net of chemically treated fabric, which
disperses the flame and emits a much brighter light.
Early microscopists relied on candles, oil lamps, and natural sunlight to provide
illumination for the relatively crude optical systems in their microscopes. These primitive
light sources suffered from flickering, uneven illumination, glare, and often were a
potential fire hazard. Today, incandescent high-intensity tungsten-based lamps are the
primary light source utilized in modern microscopes and the majority of household
lighting systems.
Presented in Figure 3 are spectral distribution curves demonstrating the relative
amounts of energy versus wavelength for several different sources of white light
(comprised of a mixture containing all or most of the colors in the visible spectrum). The
red curve represents the relative energy of tungsten light over the entire visible spectrum.
As is apparent from examining the figure, the energy of tungsten light increases as
wavelength increases. This effect dramatically influences the average color temperature
of the resultant light, especially when it is compared to that of natural sunlight and
fluorescent light (the mercury vapor lamp). The spectrum represented by a yellow curve
profiles the visible light distribution from the natural sunlight spectrum sampled at noon.
Under normal circumstances, sunlight contains the greatest amount of energy, but the
curves illustrated in Figure 3 have all been normalized to the tungsten spectrum in order
to ease comparison. The dark blue spectral curve is characteristic of a mercury arc lamp,
and exhibits some notable differences from the tungsten and natural sunlight spectra.
Several energy peaks are present in the discharge arc lamp spectrum that occur a result of
superposed individual line spectra originating from the mercury vapor.

The visible
light spectrum
produced by a
white light emitting
diode (LED) is
represented by the
green curve in
Figure 3. Light
emitting diodes are
devices, with the
color being determined by the band gap between various semiconductor materials utilized
in diode construction. Red, green, yellow, and blue diodes are common, and extensively
employed as indicator lights for computers and other consumer electronics devices, such
as radio tuners, television receivers, compact disk players, videocassette recorders, and
digital videodisk players. White light LEDs are fabricated from gallium nitride blue
diodes by coating the semiconductor die with a phosphor material, which emits a broad
range of visible wavelengths when excited by light emitted from the blue diode. Laser
spectra, whether derived from diodes or gas lasers, are characteristically very narrow,
often comprising only one or a few specific wavelengths. An example is illustrated in
Figure 3 (the cyan curve) for a low-current semiconductor diode laser that is useful for a
variety of applications, including reading barcodes and tracking optical disk data.
Tungsten light sources are commonly termed incandescent, because they radiate
light when heated by electrical energy. The filaments of modern light bulbs (or lamps) are
generally composed of tungsten, a metal that is somewhat efficient at radiating light when
resistively heated by an electrical current. Modern incandescent lamps descended from
the carbon arc lamps invented by Sir Humphrey Davy, which produce light by a
discharge arc formed between two carbon rods (or filament electrodes) when an electric
potential is placed across the electrodes. Ultimately, the carbon arc lamp gave way to the
first lamps that utilized carbon filaments contained in an evacuated glass envelope.
Tungsten filaments, pioneered in 1910 by William David Coolidge, evaporate much more
slowly than cotton-derived carbon fibers when heated in the vacuum of a glass envelope.
The filament acts as a simple resistor, and emits a significant amount of light in addition
to the heat generated by current flow.
Tungsten incandescent lamps are thermal radiators that emit a continuous spectrum
of light extending from about 300 nanometers, in the ultraviolet region, to about 1400
nanometers, in the near infrared region. Their design, construction, and operation are very
simple, and a wide variety of these lamps have been utilized as incandescent light
sources. Typical lamps consist of an sealed glass envelope (see Figure 4), evacuated or
filled with an inert gas, and containing a tungsten wire filament that is energized by either
direct or alternating current. The bulbs produce a tremendous amount of light and heat,
but the light accounts for only 5 to 10 percent of their total energy output.
Tungsten lamps tend to suffer several drawbacks, such as a decreased intensity with
age and a blackening of the inside envelope surface as evaporated tungsten is slowly
deposited onto the glass. The color temperature and luminance of tungsten lamps vary
with the applied voltage, but average values for color temperature range from about 2200
K to 3400 K. The surface temperature of an active tungsten filament is very high,
typically averaging 2,550 degrees Celsius for a standard 100-watt commercial light bulb.
In some cases, tungsten bulb envelopes are filled with the Noble gases krypton or xenon
(inert fillgas) as an alternative to creating a vacuum in order to protect the hot tungsten
filament. These gases improve the efficiency of incandescent lamps because they reduce
the amount of evaporated tungsten that is deposited on the interior of the surrounding
glass vessel.

bulbs, a high-
version of the incandescent tungsten lamp, typically contain traces of iodine or bromine
in the fill gas, which return evaporated tungsten to the filament far more efficiently than
lamps made with other gases. Tungsten-halogen lamps, first developed by General
Electric in the 1950s for lighting the tips of supersonic jet wings, are capable of
producing very uniform bright light throughout the bulb lifetime. In addition, halogen
lamps are much smaller and more efficient than tungsten lamps of comparable intensity.
The lifetime of a tungsten-halogen bulb can be as much as 10 years under the most ideal
The filaments of tungsten-halogen lamps are often very compact spiral assemblies
mounted in a borosilicate-halide glass (often termed fused quartz) envelope. High
operating temperatures restrict the use of tungsten-halogen bulbs to well-ventilated
lamphouses with fan-shaped heat sinks to eliminate the tremendous amount of heat
generated by these bulbs. Many household lamps are equipped to operate with 300-500
watt tungsten-halogen lamps, and produce a significant amount light that fills a room
much better than their weaker-emitting tungsten counterparts. When coupled with fiber
optic light pipes and absorption or dichromatic filters, tungsten-halogen lamphouses
provide high intensity illumination for a wide variety of optical microscopy applications,
but as a major disadvantage, produce significant amounts of infrared light in the form of
radiant heat that can easily degrade the specimen.
Fluorescent Light Sources
There are a wide variety of non-incandescent visible light sources that are employed
for indoor and outdoor lighting, in addition to having important applications in optical
microscopy. Most of these light sources are based on electric discharge through a gas
such as mercury, or the Noble gases neon, argon, and xenon. The generation of visible
light in gas discharge lamps relies on collisions between atoms and ions in the gas with
an electrical current that is passed between a pair of electrodes placed at the ends of the
bulb envelope.
The glass tube of a common fluorescent lamp is coated with phosphor on the inside
surface of the glass, and the tube is filled with mercury vapor at very low pressure (see
Figure 5). An electric current is applied between the electrodes at the ends of the tube,
producing a stream of electrons that flow from one electrode to the other. When electrons
from the stream collide with mercury atoms, they excite electrons within the atoms to a
higher energy state. This energy is released in the form of ultraviolet radiation when
electrons in the mercury atoms return to the ground state. The ultraviolet radiation
subsequently energizes the internal phosphor coating, causing it to emit the bright white
light that we observe from fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lamps are about two to four
times more efficient at emitting visible light, produce less waste heat, and typically last
ten to twenty times longer than incandescent lamps.

A unique feature
of fluorescent light
sources is that they
generate a series of
wavelengths that are
often concentrated
into narrow bands
termed line spectra. As a consequence, these sources do not produce the continuous
spectrum of illumination that is characteristic of incandescent sources. A good example of
a (almost exclusively) single wavelength source of non-incandescent visible light is the
sodium-vapor lamps commonly employed in street lighting. These lamps emit a very
intense yellow light, with over 95 percent of the emission being composed of 589-
nanometer light and virtually no other wavelengths present in the output. It is possible to
design gas-discharge lamps that will emit a nearly continuous spectrum in addition to the
line spectra inherent in most of these lamps. The most common technique is to coat the
inside surface of the tube with phosphor particles, which will absorb radiation emitted by
the glowing gas and convert it into a broad spectrum of visible light ranging from blue to
Under normal circumstances, most individuals are not able to discern the difference
between a line spectrum and a spectrum of continuous wavelengths. However, some
objects reflect unusual colors in light from a discontinuous source, particularly under
fluorescent lighting. This is why clothing, or other highly colored items, purchased in a
store illuminated by fluorescent light often appears a slightly different color under natural
sunlight or continuous tungsten illumination.
In reflected light stereomicroscopy, particularly when examining heat-sensitive
specimens, fluorescent lamps are favored over tungsten lamps because of their high
efficiency and low heat output. Modern fluorescent lamps can be configured for linear
tube or ring illuminators to provide the microscopist with intense, diffuse light. This
source of artificial white light rivals sunlight (without the accompanying heat) in color
temperature, and eliminates the flicker characteristics typical of consumer-grade
fluorescent tubes. In comparison to tungsten, tungsten-halogen, or arc lamps, fluorescent-
lamp microscope illuminators can provide relatively long periods (approximately 7,000
hours) of high quality service. As a diffuse light source, fluorescent lamps produce an
evenly illuminated field of view without annoying hot spots or glare. Newer cold
cathode illumination technology shows promise as a specialized light source in optical
microscopy, particularly for short-lived events enhanced by fluorescence excitation, and
for applications where waste heat or warm-up time in a light source may interfere with
the specimen or the event being observed.
A specialized method for photographing moving specimens, particularly useful in
darkfield microscopy illumination, has been devised using electronic photography flash
systems. Electronic flash units operate through ionization in a xenon gas-filled glass
envelope driven by the discharge of a large capacitor. The short-lived, high-voltage pulse
from a transformer induces the xenon gas to ionize, allowing the capacitor to discharge
through the now-conductive gas. A sudden burst of bright light is emitted, after which the
xenon gas rapidly returns to a non-conductive state, and the capacitor recharges. Flash
tubes provide 5,500 K illumination in an instantaneous burst that can capture a significant
amount of object detail for spectacular results in photography, digital imaging, and

Arc discharge
lamps, filled with
gases such as
mercury vapor and
xenon, are favored sources of illumination for some specialized forms of fluorescence
microscopy. A typical arc lamp is 10-100 times brighter than tungsten-based counterparts
and can provide brilliant monochromatic illumination when combined with specially
coated dichromaticinterference filters. Unlike tungsten and tungsten-halogen lamps, arc
lamps do not contain a filament, but rather, depend on ionization of the gaseous vapor
though a high-energy arc discharge between two electrodes to produce their intense light.
In general, arc lamps have an average lifetime of about 100-200 hours, and most external
power supplies are equipped with a timer that enables the microscopist to monitor how
much time has elapsed. Mercury arc lamps (often referred to as burners; see the mercury
and xenon lamps illustrated in Figure 6) range in power from 50 to 200 watts and usually
consist of two electrodes sealed under high mercury vapor pressure in a quartz glass
Mercury and xenon arc lamps do not provide even illumination intensity across the
entire wavelength spectrum from near ultraviolet to infrared. Much of the intensity of the
mercury arc lamp is expended in the near-ultraviolet and blue spectrum, with most of the
high-intensity peaks occurring in the 300-450 nanometer range, except for a few higher-
wavelength peaks in the green spectral region. In contrast, xenon arc lamps have a
broader and more even intensity output across the visible spectrum, and do not exhibit the
very high-spectral-intensity peaks that are characteristic of mercury lamps. Xenon lamps
are deficient in the ultraviolet, however, and expend a large proportion of their intensity
in the infrared, requiring care in control and elimination of excess heat when these lamps
are employed.

The era of utilizing

light emitting diodes as
a practical source of
illumination has
arrived with the
twenty-first century,
and the diode is an
ideal complement to
the union of
technology and optical
microscopy. The
relatively low power consumption (1 to 3 volts at 10 to 100 milliamperes), and long
working life of light emitting diodes, renders these devices perfect light sources when
low to medium intensity levels of white light are required. Microscopes connected to
computers interfaced through a universal serial bus (USB) port, or powered by batteries,
can utilize the LED as a small, low-heat, low-power, and low-cost internal light source
for visual observation and digital image capture. Several teaching and entry-level
research microscopes currently utilize an internal, high-intensity white light emitting
diode that serves as the primary light source.
Although the epoxy envelope light projection characteristics are still being explored,
light emitting diodes are currently being tested and marketed in a wide variety of
applications, such as traffic signals, signs, flashlights, and external ring-style illuminators
for microscopy. The light produced by white LEDs has a color temperature spectrum
similar to that of a mercury vapor lamp, which is in the daylight illumination category.
Examining the white LED emission spectrum presented in Figure 3, the transmission
peak at 460 nanometers is due to blue light emitted by the gallium nitride diode
semiconductor, while the broad high-transmission range positioned between 550 and 650
nanometers results from secondary light emitted by a phosphor coating inside the
polymer jacket. The combination of wavelengths produces "white" light having a
relatively high color temperature, which is a suitable wavelength range for imaging and
observation in optical microscopy.
Laser Light Sources
Another source of visible light that is becoming increasingly more important in our
everyday lives is laser illumination. The acronym LASER is an abbreviation for
LightAmplification by the Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Among the unique features
of lasers is that they emit a continuous beam of light composed of a single discrete
wavelength (or sometimes several wavelengths) that exits the device in a single, aligned
phase, commonly termed coherent light. The wavelength of light emitted by a laser
depends upon the material from which the laser crystal, diode, or gas is composed. Lasers
are produced in a variety of shapes and sizes, ranging from tiny diode lasers small enough
to fit through the eye of a needle, to huge military and research-grade instruments that fill
an entire building.

are used as
sources in a
number of

applications ranging from compact disk readers to measuring tools and surgical
instruments. The familiar red light of the helium-neon (often abbreviated He-Ne) laser
scans consumer purchases by lighting optical bar codes, but also plays a critical role in
many laser scanning confocal microscopy systems. The application of lasers in optical
microscopy is also growing in importance, both as a sole light source, and in combination
with fluorescent and/or incandescent light sources. Despite the relatively high cost, lasers
find particularly wide application in fluorescence, monochromatic brightfield, and in the
rapidly growing fields of laser scanning confocal, total internal reflection, fluorescence
resonance energy transfer, and multi-photon microscopy.
Argon-ion lasers (Figure 8) produce powerful spectral emissions at 488 and 514
nanometers, while krypton gas lasers exhibit large peaks at wavelengths of 647.1 and
752.5 nanometers. Both of these lasers are often utilized as excitation sources in laser
scanning confocal microscopy. Titanium-doped sapphire crystal mode-locked pulsed
lasers are used as sources for multiphoton excitation due to their high peak intensity, but
they also feature low average power and short duty cycles. As preferred light sources for
multiphoton microscopy, pulsed lasers are considerably more expensive and difficult to
operate than the small, air-cooled lasers employed in confocal microscopy.
Newer laser technology features semiconductor-based laser diodes and single on-chip
lasers that reduce the size and power requirements for light sources. Laser diodes, such as
neodymium:yttrium lithium fluoride (Nd:YLF) and neodymium:yttrium vanadate
(Nd:YVO(4)), typically are much faster in response than LEDs, but are also relatively
small and require little power. Disadvantages of using lasers in microscopy include
additional costs for the light source, the risk of expensive damage to optics, increased
costs associated with lens and mirror coatings, destruction of specimens, and potential
retinal damage to the microscopist if safe handling and operating techniques are ignored.
From this discussion, it is apparent that although there are a wide variety of available
illumination sources, we generally rely on only a few throughout our everyday lives.
During daylight hours the sun serves as our main source of illumination outdoors, while
we generally rely on fluorescent and tungsten lighting while indoors and during the
evening hours. As discussed above, these three primary lighting sources all have different
properties and spectral characteristics, but their maximum intensities all fall within the
visible light range. The human brain adjusts automatically to the different light sources,
and we interpret the colors of most objects around us as hardly changing when they are
viewed under differing conditions of illumination.


CM Recto Ave. Lapasan, Cagayan de Oro City





Submitted by
Jonel Juaneza
Submitted to
Arch. Kenneth Arado

July 4, 2014