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The Microscope - Volume 70, Second Quarter 2023


On the cover:
A six-image montage of unreacted potassium nitrate (clockwise from top left) in plane polarized light, plane polarized light with top light, partially crossed polars with top light, crossed polars with Red I compensator and top light, crossed polars, and partially crossed polars with top light, showing different stages of heat damage; from a presentation on the particles and residues resulting from controlled burning of improvised low explosives. See Inter/Micro 2023 — International Microscopy Conference, page 51. (Courtesy of McCrone Research Institute)

Editorial | The Best That Microscopy Has to Offer

Gary J. Laughlin
The Microscope 70:2, p. ii, 2023

Excerpt: If it feels like now is too soon to be recapping Inter/Micro, it is because this was the first occurrence in its 75-year history that two Inter/Micro conferences convened within a 12-month period due to the disruptions in prior years and a postponed restart of the previous meeting. Inter/Micro 2022 was held in September 2022, and the 2023 conference was in June.

Inter/Micro 2023 — International Microscopy Conference

Gary J. Laughlin and Dean Golemis
The Microscope 70:2, pp. 51 – 63, 2023

Excerpt: McCrone Research Institute was pleased to hold the Inter/Micro international microscopy conference in Chicago on June 13-16, 2023. This 73rd anniversary meeting gathered professional and amateur microscopists featuring detailed research talks on the first two days, covering advancements in instrumentation, new techniques, and practical applications in various fields of microscopy and microanalysis, followed by a two-day workshop on microscope cleaning, maintenance, and adjustment.

What We See Part 2: Physiochemical Properties of Particles in a Fixed Mount

Russ Crutcher and Heidie Crutcher
The Microscope 70:2, pp. 64 – 81, 2023

Abstract: Color is the key to most of the physiochemical properties of particles. Morphological properties work well in black and white, but not in the realm of electrons and wave interactions with matter; nearly everything here is color. Monochromatic, interference, complementary, and specific heterochromatic colors provide clues to the arrangement of electrons, their number per unit volume, and the forces that affect their distribution. The number of electrons per unit volume, their distribution in three-dimensional space, and the nature of the bonds holding them in that space produce specific colors. They are also responsible for nearly all the physical properties of materials. Thin dielectric films, refraction, dispersion, absorption, reflection, and diffraction give rise to the physical sources of color. The configuration of the microscope is basically the same as that required for morphological properties but with the addition of polarizing filters and compensator plates.

Critical Focus | Published or Be Damned

Brian J. Ford
The Microscope 70:2, pp. 82 – 93, 2023

Excerpt: Scientific publishing is a racket. Research for the author’s book Nonscience Returns reveals how academics battle to have more papers in print than their rivals, no matter what the cost.

Click. You’ve won a prize and it’s worth $11,690. For that money, two of you could fly from Washington to New York in a private jet, have a chauffeur-driven Rolls Royce take you for lunch at Masa, the most expensive restaurant in America, and fly home sipping vintage cognac. Something that endures? What about a Rolex Oyster — Winston Churchill and John F. Kennedy owned Rolexes, and so does Barack Obama. World-renowned rapper Jay-Z has several. Alternatively, what about a luxurious Cunard voyage? You could both cruise the Caribbean from New York in a Princess Grill suite aboard the world’s greatest liner, Queen Mary 2. Oh wait, you might have research to publish. This money would allow you to print 1,000 copies of a satisfyingly stout book (50 color pages, 200 more with text and diagrams), professionally bound in dark blue cloth-covered boards, like the textbooks you may remember from your student days. Or you could publish a single research paper in Nature.

The Microscope Past: 35 Years Ago | Microscopical Terminology: by Declaration or Deliberation?

Theodore G. Rochow
The Microscope 70:2, pp. 94 – 95, 2023
Originally published in The Microscope, Volume 36, Second Quarter, pp. 133 – 137, 1988.

Abstract: It is difficult enough to guide Webster and other dictionaries in the use of microscopical terms. The problem begins with the difficulty of inducing microscopists themselves to use the proper terminology.

Afterimage | Snowflake

Sebastian B. Sparenga
The Microscope 70:2, p. 96, 2023

A snowflake captured in super glue on a microscope slide with a coverslip and photographed using darkfield illumination; original magnification is 40×. Selected as Best Overall Photomicrograph at the Inter/Micro 2023 Photomicrography Competition in Chicago.

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