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On Magnification, Calibration, Visibility, and Resolution


2022, Volume 69:1, pp. 37-41


John C. Russ

What follows is basically a commentary, and a somewhat exasperated one at that. The author has been involved with microscopy and related instrumentation in many forms (light, electron, scanned probe, acoustic, neutron, and X-ray in 2-, 3- and 4-D), and with the processing, measurement, and analysis of images for nearly seven decades. He has reviewed hundreds, if not thousands, of papers and proposals. During that time he has often been frustrated by the errors he has encountered, whether due to oversight, misunderstanding, or willful ignorance of the concepts listed in the title. The terms seem to be familiar and well understood, but there remains plenty of room for confusion; so let’s try to be clear about 1) what they mean and 2) how to assure that we are using and measuring them properly.

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