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Microscopic Scale
The microscopic scale () is the scale of objects and events smaller than those that can easily be seen by the naked eye, requiring a lens or microscope to see them clearly. In physics, the microscopic scale is sometimes regarded as the scale between the macroscopic scale and the quantum scale. Microscopic units and measurements are used to classify and describe very small objects. One common microscopic length scale unit is the micrometre (also called a ''micron'') (symbol: μm), which is one millionth of a metre. History Whilst compound microscopes were first developed in the 1590s, the significance of the microscopic scale was only truly established in the 1600s when Marcello Malphigi and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek microscopically observed frog lungs and microorganisms. As microbiology was established, the significance of making scientific observations at a microscopic level increased. Published in 1665, Robert Hooke’s book Micrographia details his microscopic observatio ...
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Naked Eye
Naked eye, also called bare eye or unaided eye, is the practice of engaging in visual perception unaided by a magnifying, light-collecting optical instrument, such as a telescope or microscope, or eye protection. Vision corrected to normal acuity using corrective lenses is still considered "naked". In astronomy, the naked eye may be used to observe celestial events and objects visible without equipment, such as conjunctions, passing comets, meteor showers, and the brightest asteroids, including 4 Vesta. Sky lore and various tests demonstrate an impressive variety of phenomena visible to the unaided eye. Basic properties Some basic properties of the human eye are: *Quick autofocus from distances of 25 cm (young people) to 50 cm (most people 50 years and older) to infinity. * Angular resolution: about 1  arcminute, approximately 0.017° or 0.0003 radians, which corresponds to 0.3 m at a 1 km distance. * Field of view (FOV): simultaneous visua ...
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British Association For The Advancement Of Science
The British Science Association (BSA) is a charity and learned society founded in 1831 to aid in the promotion and development of science. Until 2009 it was known as the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA). The current Chief Executive is Katherine Mathieson. The BSA's mission is to get more people engaged in the field of science by coordinating, delivering, and overseeing different projects that are suited to achieve these goals. The BSA "envisions a society in which a diverse group of people can learn and apply the sciences in which they learn." and is managed by a professional staff located at their Head Office in the Wellcome Wolfson Building. The BSA offers a wide variety of activities and events that both recognize and encourage people to be involved in science. These include the British Science Festival, British Science Week, the CREST Awards, Huxley Summit, Media Fellowships Scheme, along with regional and local events. History Foundation The Ass ...
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Objective (optics)
In optical engineering, the objective is the optical element that gathers light from the object being observed and focuses the light rays to produce a real image. Objectives can be a single lens or mirror, or combinations of several optical elements. They are used in microscopes, binoculars, telescopes, cameras, slide projectors, CD players and many other optical instruments. Objectives are also called object lenses, object glasses, or objective glasses. Microscope objectives The objective lens of a microscope is the one at the bottom near the sample. At its simplest, it is a very high-powered magnifying glass, with very short focal length. This is brought very close to the specimen being examined so that the light from the specimen comes to a focus inside the microscope tube. The objective itself is usually a cylinder containing one or more lenses that are typically made of glass; its function is to collect light from the sample. Magnification One of the most important prope ...
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Transmission Electron Microscopy
Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is a microscopy technique in which a beam of electrons is transmitted through a specimen to form an image. The specimen is most often an ultrathin section less than 100 nm thick or a suspension on a grid. An image is formed from the interaction of the electrons with the sample as the beam is transmitted through the specimen. The image is then magnified and focused onto an imaging device, such as a fluorescent screen, a layer of photographic film, or a sensor such as a scintillator attached to a charge-coupled device. Transmission electron microscopes are capable of imaging at a significantly higher resolution than light microscopes, owing to the smaller de Broglie wavelength of electrons. This enables the instrument to capture fine detail—even as small as a single column of atoms, which is thousands of times smaller than a resolvable object seen in a light microscope. Transmission electron microscopy is a major analytical me ...
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Cay Sand
A cay ( ), also spelled caye or key, is a small, low-elevation, sandy island on the surface of a coral reef. Cays occur in tropical environments throughout the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans, including in the Caribbean and on the Great Barrier Reef and Belize Barrier Reef. Etymology The 1492 indigenous people of the Bahamas were called " Lucayan", an Anglicization of the Spanish ''Lucayos'', derived in turn from the Taíno ''Lukku-Cairi'' (which the people used for themselves), meaning "people of the islands". The Taíno word for "island", ''cairi'', became ''cayo'' in Spanish and "cay" in English (spelled "key" in American English, "caye" in Belizean English). Formation and composition A cay forms when ocean currents transport loose sediment across the surface of a reef to where the current slows or converges with another current, releasing its sediment load. Gradually, layers of deposited sediment build up on the reef surface – a '' depositional node''. Such n ...
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Statistical Mechanics
In physics, statistical mechanics is a mathematical framework that applies statistical methods and probability theory to large assemblies of microscopic entities. It does not assume or postulate any natural laws, but explains the macroscopic behavior of nature from the behavior of such ensembles. Statistical mechanics arose out of the development of classical thermodynamics, a field for which it was successful in explaining macroscopic physical properties—such as temperature, pressure, and heat capacity—in terms of microscopic parameters that fluctuate about average values and are characterized by probability distributions. This established the fields of statistical thermodynamics and statistical physics. The founding of the field of statistical mechanics is generally credited to three physicists: * Ludwig Boltzmann, who developed the fundamental interpretation of entropy in terms of a collection of microstates *James Clerk Maxwell, who developed models of probability di ...
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Thermodynamics
Thermodynamics is a branch of physics that deals with heat, work, and temperature, and their relation to energy, entropy, and the physical properties of matter and radiation. The behavior of these quantities is governed by the four laws of thermodynamics which convey a quantitative description using measurable macroscopic physical quantities, but may be explained in terms of microscopic constituents by statistical mechanics. Thermodynamics applies to a wide variety of topics in science and engineering, especially physical chemistry, biochemistry, chemical engineering and mechanical engineering, but also in other complex fields such as meteorology. Historically, thermodynamics developed out of a desire to increase the efficiency of early steam engines, particularly through the work of French physicist Sadi Carnot (1824) who believed that engine efficiency was the key that could help France win the Napoleonic Wars. Scots-Irish physicist Lord Kelvin was the firs ...
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Optical Microscope
The optical microscope, also referred to as a light microscope, is a type of microscope that commonly uses visible light and a system of lenses to generate magnified images of small objects. Optical microscopes are the oldest design of microscope and were possibly invented in their present compound form in the 17th century. Basic optical microscopes can be very simple, although many complex designs aim to improve resolution and sample contrast. The object is placed on a stage and may be directly viewed through one or two eyepieces on the microscope. In high-power microscopes, both eyepieces typically show the same image, but with a stereo microscope, slightly different images are used to create a 3-D effect. A camera is typically used to capture the image ( micrograph). The sample can be lit in a variety of ways. Transparent objects can be lit from below and solid objects can be lit with light coming through ( bright field) or around ( dark field) the objective lens. Po ...
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Stentor (protozoa)
''Stentor'', sometimes called trumpet animalcules, are a genus of filter-feeding, heterotrophic ciliates, representative of the heterotrichs. They are usually horn-shaped, and reach lengths of two millimeters; as such, they are among the largest known extant unicellular organisms. They reproduce asexually through binary fission. Description The body, or cortex, is generally horn-shaped, hence the association with the Greek herald, and the former name "trumpet animalcule". A ring of prominent cilia around the anterior "bell" sweep in food and aid in swimming. Some reach several millimeters in length, making them among the largest single-celled organisms. ''Stentor'' can come in different colors: for example, ''S. coeruleus'' can appear blue due to the presence of stentorin, a natural pigment. As in many freshwater protozoans, ''Stentor'' has a contractile vacuole. Because the concentration of salt inside the cell and in the surrounding freshwater is different, ''Stentor'' mu ...
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Volvox
''Volvox'' is a polyphyletic genus of chlorophyte green algae in the family Volvocaceae. It forms spherical colonies of up to 50,000 cells. They live in a variety of freshwater habitats, and were first reported by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek in 1700. ''Volvox'' diverged from unicellular ancestors approximately . Description ''Volvox'' is a polyphyletic genus in the volvocine green algae clade. Each mature ''Volvox'' colony is composed of up to thousands of cells from two differentiated cell types: numerous flagellate somatic cells and a smaller number of germ cells lacking in soma that are embedded in the surface of a hollow sphere or coenobium containing an extracellular matrix made of glycoproteins. Adult somatic cells comprise a single layer with the flagella facing outward. The cells swim in a coordinated fashion, with distinct anterior and posterior poles. The cells have anterior eyespots that enable the colony to swim toward light. The cells of colonies in the more ba ...
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Algae
Algae (; singular alga ) is an informal term for a large and diverse group of photosynthetic eukaryotic organisms. It is a polyphyletic grouping that includes species from multiple distinct clades. Included organisms range from unicellular microalgae, such as ''Chlorella,'' ''Prototheca'' and the diatoms, to multicellular forms, such as the giant kelp, a large brown alga which may grow up to in length. Most are aquatic and autotrophic (they generate food internally) and lack many of the distinct cell and tissue types, such as stomata, xylem and phloem that are found in land plants. The largest and most complex marine algae are called seaweeds, while the most complex freshwater forms are the ''Charophyta'', a division of green algae which includes, for example, ''Spirogyra'' and stoneworts. No definition of algae is generally accepted. One definition is that algae "have chlorophyll ''a'' as their primary photosynthetic pigment and lack a sterile covering of cells around their re ...
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