About MicroscopyMicroscopy refers to the study of objects that are too small to be easily viewed by the unaided human eye. Viewing objects that range in size from millimeters down to as small as nanometers (1 nm ~ 0.00000004" = 40 billionths of an inch) has always been fascinating to people from all walks of life, and is currently also applicable to virtually every field of science and technology.
Microscopes are devices that are used to magnify small objects. They come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, and use many types of illumination sources (light, electrons, ions, x-rays and even mechanical probes) and signals to produce an image. A microscope can be as simple as a hand-held magnifying glass or as complex as a multi-million-dollar research instrument.
Microscopists explore the relationships between structures and properties for a very wide variety of materials ranging from soft to very hard, from inanimate materials to living organisms, in order to better understand their behavior.