Most Powerful Microscope

  1. What is the most powerful microscope in the world? And when I say microscope, I mean a microscope that can produce an actual image, nothing like the atom tip microscope or whatever. What is the smallest object anyone has ever seen? In other words, I wanna see a REAL image of whatever is the smallest crap any scientist has ever seen with their eyes.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Gokul43201

    Gokul43201 11,141
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    In other words, you don't think an image produced say, by electrons is a REAL image ?

    Well, then you are limited by the resolution offered by visible light, ~ 1 micron...unless you will accept NSOM as REAL. This can be achieved by most any high resolution optical microscope.

    No scientist, however, will call these the most powerful microscopes in the world.
     
  4. uhh where did I say images produced by electrons aren't real? In fact that's precisely what I mean. Why the hell do people always think light when you say microscope? Whether it's photons, electrons, quarks or whatever particle you decide to use my question still stands. What is the smallest image ever seen that still constitute in a classical sense of "seeing." Why is this question so hard to understand?
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2006
  5. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
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    there.....
     
  6. what??????
     
  7. wow you people really don't understand my question. and I thought this was suppost to be science forum

    ::sigh::
     
  8. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
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    Your question is poorly worded, Gokul gave you as good of an answer as one could expect
     
  9. no it wasn't. my question is: what is the smallest object one can possibly see. I didn't ask anything about light or electrons. So let me say it again, what is the smallest object anyone has ever seen? Can it get any more direct than that?
     
  10. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
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    We've seen individual atoms. I've heard its doubtful we can even isolate quarks, let alone see them.
     
  11. We have? Can you post a picture? Last I heard, QM doesn't allow you to actually see an atom
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2006
  12. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
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  13. when I say see, I mean being able to see physical features (whether it's with photons, or electrons or anything else for that matter) Look at the image bellow of a red blood cell. It was produced by an electron microscope

    http://www.pbrc.hawaii.edu/microangela/rbc.htm

    What is the smallest object ever seen that's still analgous to that picture in terms of "seeing"?
     
  14. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
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    Well the thing is, im wondering if those pictures are true color. I do remember someone telling me once that electron microscope pictures are colored by the operators and don't represent true colors.
     
  15. Yes, electron microscope see in black and white. The color is digitally added. But that doesn't mean the image is fake. That picture above of the red blood cell is REAL in every sense of the word.
     
  16. Pengwuino

    Pengwuino 7,118
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    Well then if that's the criteria we're using, atoms are the smallest thing we've been able to see.
     
  17. Really? So we've been able to see physical features of an atom? Like the electron cloud and stuff? What does it actually look like? Pictures is really what I want
     
  18. Okay, I just did some research on google and it says that the smallest actual image ever taken is a single strand of DNA, with an electron microscope. Anyone can provide any images of what a strand of DNA actually looks like under an electron microscope?
     
  19. chroot

    chroot 10,427
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    Flatland, you appear to be missing the point. Below some limit, the concept of "seeing," that is, bouncing particles off an object and measuring their reflections, is no longer meaningful.

    You can't, for example, "see" or "make a picture" of the electrons surrounding a nucleus, because you would need to using gamma radiation (very small wavelength light) to even hope to resolve an individual electron -- yet those gamma photons have enormous energy and totally disrupt and break apart the atom as you're trying to observe it.

    - Warren
     
  20. But what is the smallest object that can be seen where seeing is still meaningful? And that is regardless of what microscope you use. That was my original question.
     
  21. chroot

    chroot 10,427
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    There isn't a hard limit at which the concept of seeing becomes meaningless. It's a slow slide into oblivion. That's why no one can pinpoint one specific image as the "smallest ever."

    - Warren
     
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