Scanning Microscopy


Courses in electron microscopical techniques should include training in the active reading of electron micrographs. The student should be made aware of the fact that every micrograph contains a wealth of information, evident and hidden, and that a careful inspection is required to retrieve the information. More time should normally be spent in scrutinizing the micrograph than in its manufacture. Active reading of the micrograph is aided by a curiosity in the functional significance of the various details of the picture; there has to be a dialogue between the mind and the eye concerning the structural elements and their significance. The investigator also has to be critical with respect to the possibility of technical flaws and should further be on guard against "seeing" such patterns that others may have seen and have described but which actually do not exist in the micrograph. Among examples given for an analysis in this paper are flaws in the metal shadowing technique and in ultrathin sections that have undergone deformation.

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