Microscopes are instruments that produce a magnified image of a small object. They are used in many scientific and industrial applications. Some common applications for microscopes include manufacturing inspection and high-technology quality control. Specific quality control applications for microscopes include semiconductor processing, medical imaging, cell research, and metallurgical analysis. Microscopes are supplied in one of three common configurations, student, benchtop, and research. There are many types of microscopes available including acoustic or ultrasonic, compound, fluorescent or ultraviolet (UV), inverted, laser or confocal, polarizing, portable field, scanning electron microscope (SEM), scanning force or atomic probe microscope (SFM/AFM), stereoscopes and transmission electron microscopes. Acoustic and ultrasonic microscopes, compound microscopes, and fluorescent and UV microscopes are available. Acoustic and ultrasonic microscopes use sound waves to create images of the sample. Compound microscopes use a single light path. These types of microscopes can have a single eyepiece (monocular) or a dual eyepiece (binocular). Compound microscopes have low depth perception but high resolution and magnification. Fluorescent microscopes and UV microscopes use high-energy and short-wavelength light to excite electrons, causing them to shift to higher orbits. When the electrons fall back to their original energy levels, they emit lower-energy and longer-wavelength light. Inverted, confocal, and polarized light microscopes are industrial microscopes. An inverted microscope locates the illumination system above the stage and the lens system below the stage. A confocal microscope or laser microscope uses a laser-to-light image one plane of a specimen at a time. Polarized light microscopes use two polarizers. These polarizers are perpendicular to each other so that only light which passes through the specimen reaches the eyepiece. Light is polarized...
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