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Tiny Spheres Turn Regular Microscopes Into Nanoscopes

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posted on May, 19 2011 @ 01:38 AM
i love optics and simplicity
the idea is to sprinkle tiny micro spheres onto the surface of a sample that you want to image
and focus a micro scope on the outside surface of the nano spheres

Ordinary microscopes can see 8 times more minutely than known physical limits if miniature glass spheres are sprinkled onto samples, according to a new study.

The cheapest and most common microscopes use white light to magnify objects, but the nature of light and the limitations of our eyes mean those microscopes can’t image things smaller than bacteria. Other microscopy techniques, which use lasers, metamaterials and electron beams to image microscopic and nanoscopic worlds, can exceed such limits. But they are difficult, time-consuming and expensive to use, and they can kill live samples.

Glass microspheres about the size of red blood cells, however, described March 1 in Nature Communications, act like tiny magnifying glasses and bring normally invisible structures into sight. Stitching the microspheres’ images together with software could create unprecedented white-light photos.

“We have broken the theoretical limits of optical microscopy in white light,” said engineer Lin Li of the University of Manchester, a co-author of the study. “The surprising thing is the simplicity. One hundred dollars buys you about 100 million microspheres. Using conventional optical microscopes, almost anyone can do this.”

wired website link

i love optics
and this is the best sort of optics, the simple kind
if we hit the limit of optical magnification we can place nano sized spheres of clear optical material
on the surface of the material we are trying to image
and focus on the outter surface of the spheres instead of the surface of the object
and the micro spheres act like a mini magnifying glass increasing image magnifaction
and could be very useful in imaging virus and other helath related cells ect

cool huh


edit on 19-5-2011 by XPLodER because: add pic

posted on May, 19 2011 @ 01:41 AM
how high of a possibility is it that we are creating the spheres by creating instruments designed to look at them?

no instrument no sphere....

sounds like an illusion of some sort of magic trick to me. sorcery.

posted on May, 19 2011 @ 01:44 AM
reply to post by onequestion

there is no trick to it
imagine a large crytal clear sphere
place the clear ball on print
larger image is the result

edit on 19-5-2011 by XPLodER because: spelling

edit on 19-5-2011 by XPLodER because: spelling again

posted on May, 19 2011 @ 01:49 AM
So they're magnifying magnification. Cool concept. Do you think we will soon be able to view atoms in real color?

posted on May, 19 2011 @ 01:52 AM
reply to post by zDecoy

if i had to try
i think they are microscoping a macro lens

i kinda makes me go
what happens when they use two sizes a "large" microsphere and a small micro sphere
would the one magnify the other


posted on May, 19 2011 @ 03:55 PM
this is almost the sort of thing i would like to try myself
it sounds like its not as easy as it seems and some image stitching software would be nessecery
to achive a coherant picture
so this would wourk best where the subject was paterned regularly


posted on May, 19 2011 @ 04:06 PM
OP, I've been following your threads since you joined, excellent work.

Do you believe the Sun's Heliosphere could be causing the same effect? IE...magnifying stars light, making them look closer / farther away than they really are?

posted on May, 19 2011 @ 06:01 PM
reply to post by Signals

without doubt
i am totally convinced that the helio sphere can be confidently explained as an optical lens in a denser medium
that itself is a lens

it would stand true that if this works on a nano level to increase magnification
it would also have the same effect in the galactic level
and the "space based" telescope (microscope) is lensing an image (helio bubble)
on a curved surface for us to veiw as an image artifact

it does distort size and perspective around the perimeter of the imaged surface

and the denser the medium the light travels through the higher the magnification(water over air)
so if the whole thing microscope and all is submearged in optically clear liquid of a higher refractivity
the magnification is again increased

like the density of medium directly outside our helio sphere (optical liquid) but without the clarity of liquid

i was thinking i really need to condence some of the material
into a single thread for ease of reading

im glad you still read my stuff

very similar to this in some respects

is there any parts that you would like to see explained in more depth?

posted on May, 19 2011 @ 06:40 PM

Originally posted by Signals
OP, I've been following your threads since you joined, excellent work.

Do you believe the Sun's Heliosphere could be causing the same effect? IE...magnifying stars light, making them look closer / farther away than they really are?

i canot calculate the optical refractivity of inter galactic meda which would make the most overall distence difference, its unclear as the nature of the medium light is traveling through is our own galaxy and the "local" lenses, the inter galactic media connects the local to the observered lense surfaces so ultimalty the refractivity and medium density of the material will have an effect on "apparent distance" of the image artifact,
on the object under observations outter lens surface.
there are many different chemicals and temperatures and even magnetic feilds and plasma to try to factor in
at this stage the amount of optical refraction can be extrapolated from individual galaxy gravatational lensing.
in galaxies of a similar nature and ztructure.

but yes as in the case of stars in our galaxy a small macro to macro lensing effect is generated in the medium refractivity of the inter galactic medium.

when we look out side our galaxy the medium density again changes and this adds a very small lensing surface created from gravity and optical refractivity combing there effects of light.

in this case distence perspective would be greatly affected by the optical and magnetic properties of the the medium between galaxies (extra galactic medium density)

like how thick is the optical liquid we submerged the microscope with nono spheres in?
how much refractivity equals what distence?

but the simple answer is if it works at a small scale
and all the elements are there for it to apply in a larger scale then................


edit on 19-5-2011 by XPLodER because: spelling again

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