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The Universal Microscope

  1. Oct 9, 2009 #1
    I was reading about Dr Royal Rife and his universal microscope there and the author of the article claimed that universal microscopes can be used to view viruses without killing them like electron microscopes do. Is this true? Also are these universal microscopes still in use today? Before now I'd heard of electron microscopes but never universal microscopes.
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  3. Oct 9, 2009 #2


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    According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Rife" [Broken] this is now pretty much a hoax. This was a devise developed in the 1930's and never made to work as claimed.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  4. Oct 10, 2009 #3


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    And why would an electron microscope kill viruses?
  5. Oct 10, 2009 #4
    I read that the electrons bombard the viri killing them. I don't even know how electron microscopes work I was just quoting what I read.
  6. Oct 10, 2009 #5


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    In an electron microscope (SEM) the sample is under high vacuum which is usually bad for most biological samples (although I guess a virus could survive), and the vacuum means that you can't image fluids so the virus would have to be "dry".
    The sample is also being continuously being bombarded by high energy electrons, the electron energies are so high that imaging is often considered "destructive" even for things like small electronic circuits (although that is partly because of the charge buildup) so presumably the electrons would severely damage a virus.
    It is also not possible to get good images of insulating samples (again because of the charge buildup) which is why biological samples are usually covered by a very thin gold film before being put in the SEM.
  7. Oct 10, 2009 #6


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    It's true that for EM you need to fix a sample and cover it with a heavy metal (not very good for the viability of your sample).

    Have you people heard of the STED microscope technology? What I understand the resolution goes beyond the wavelength of the excitation beam, by using a trick with a second beam (sub-diffraction-limit fluorescence microscopy).

    Do you know how the technique works?
  8. Oct 10, 2009 #7


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    In an electron microscope, the electrons act as waves, instead of as particles. Photons are massless, so they have a minimum wavelength. Since electrons have mass, they correspond to smaller wavelengths than photons, so an electron microscope provides better resolution than an optical microscope.
  9. Dec 9, 2009 #8
    1) Electrons act as both particles as well as waves in the electron microscope.
    2) It is due to the high accelerating potential that the electrons have a low wavelength but not due to the mass that they have smaller wavelengths.

    If you have a smaller wavelength, according to the Rayleighs criteria, you have a better resolution, which is the ability to distinguish two closely spaced objects, and for this the wavelength of the probe should be of the order of this separation between objects
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