Authored by: Laimonas Kelbauskas , Honor Glenn

Encyclopedia of Optical and Photonic Engineering

Print publication date:  September  2015
Online publication date:  September  2015

Print ISBN: 9781439850978
eBook ISBN: 9781351247184
Adobe ISBN:


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The microscope has been playing a central role in understanding many phenomena of the world surrounding us. Even though the first applications of the compound microscope date back to the sixteenth century, the field of optical microscopy has seen tremendous growth and showed substantial improvements over the last couple of decades. In this entry, we provide an overview of the conventional optical microscopy modalities and review new developments in the field that offer spatial resolution beyond the diffraction limit. We describe the main working principles of each imaging approach and give examples of their application along with advantages and limitations. This entry provides a condensed, broad overview and is organized as follows: We first discuss conventional, diffraction-limited microscopy modalities, and then focus on super-resolution techniques that surpass the physical optical resolution limit. Finally, a brief overview of an emerging imaging modality called optical computed tomography or cell CT is presented.

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