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written by Dennis Kunkel and Michael Davidson
This Java applet allows students to interactively explore various specimens as they appear under a scanning electron microscope (SEM).  SEM is a type of electron microscope that images the surface of a sample with a high-energy beam of electrons.  It can produce very high-resolution photos of details as small as 1-5 nanometers.  Choose from a cockroach, pollen grain, a diatomic molecule, a gecko foot, a jellyfish, and more.  Users first adjust the focus, contrast, and brightness of the specimen to optimize its appearance.  Then they use a slider to incrementally increase the magnification up to 10,000x.  

This item is part of a much larger collection of optics and microscopy materials developed at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.
Subjects Levels Resource Types
General Physics
- Equipment
= Electronic Equipment
- Measurement/Units
Modern Physics
- Atomic Physics
- Nanoscience
Optics
- Geometrical Optics
= Optical Instruments
- High School
- Lower Undergraduate
- Informal Education
- Instructional Material
= Interactive Simulation
Appropriate Courses Categories Ratings
- Physical Science
- Physics First
- Conceptual Physics
- Algebra-based Physics
- AP Physics
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- New teachers
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Intended User:
Learner
Format:
application/java
Access Rights:
Limited free access
Depending on Usage
Restriction:
© 1999 Dennis Kunkel
Additional information is available.
Keywords:
Microscopy, Optics, Photomicrography, SEM, microscope, vSEM, virtual microscopy
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created June 30, 2007 by swapna gurumani
Record Updated:
February 17, 2013 by Caroline Hall
Last Update
when Cataloged:
December 13, 2007

AAAS Benchmark Alignments (2008 Version)

3. The Nature of Technology

3A. Technology and Science
  • 3-5: 3A/E2. Technology enables scientists and others to observe things that are too small or too far away to be seen otherwise and to study the motion of objects that are moving very rapidly or are hardly moving at all.

11. Common Themes

11D. Scale
  • 6-8: 11D/M3. Natural phenomena often involve sizes, durations, and speeds that are extremely small or extremely large. These phenomena may be difficult to appreciate because they involve magnitudes far outside human experience.

This resource is part of 3 Physics Front Topical Units.


Topic: Measurement and the Language of Physics
Unit Title: Scale, Order of Magnitude, and Estimation

Interactively explore various specimens as they appear under a scanning electron microscope (SEM).  SEM can produce very high-resolution photos of details as small as 1-5 nanometers. Students can adjust the focus, brightness, and contrast, and choose from a cockroach, pollen grain, diatom, a gecko foot, a jellyfish, and more. Each successive image doubles the magnitude of the magnification.

Link to Unit:

Topic: Nature and Behavior of Light
Unit Title: Microscopy and Optical Devices

What do scientists see under a scanning electron microscope (SEM)?  Find out first-hand in this award-winning Java applet.  Students can choose from 14 specimens, including a cockroach, jellyfish, gecko foot, pollen grain, and more.  They will first adjust the focus, contrast, and brightness of the specimen to optimize its appearance.  Then they control a slider to increase the magnification in steps.....up to 10,000 times.  This activity would work well in the computer lab or in a classroom digital projection system.

Link to Unit:

Topic: Particles and Interactions and the Standard Model
Unit Title: Microscopy: Observing at the Nanoscale

Interactively explore various specimens as they appear under a scanning electron microscope.  SEM can produce very high-resolution photos of details as small as 1-5 nanometers. Students can adjust the focus, brightness, and contrast, and choose from a cockroach, pollen grain, diatom, a gecko foot, a jellyfish, and more. Each successive image doubles the magnitude of the magnification.

Link to Unit:
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Record Link
AIP Format
D. Kunkel and M. Davidson, (1999), WWW Document, (http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/electronmicroscopy/magnify1/index.html).
AJP/PRST-PER
D. Kunkel and M. Davidson, Molecular Expressions: Virtual Scanning Electron Microscopy, (1999), <http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/electronmicroscopy/magnify1/index.html>.
APA Format
Kunkel, D., & Davidson, M. (2007, December 13). Molecular Expressions: Virtual Scanning Electron Microscopy. Retrieved October 23, 2014, from http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/electronmicroscopy/magnify1/index.html
Chicago Format
Kunkel, Dennis, and Michael Davidson. Molecular Expressions: Virtual Scanning Electron Microscopy. December 13, 2007. http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/electronmicroscopy/magnify1/index.html (accessed 23 October 2014).
MLA Format
Kunkel, Dennis, and Michael Davidson. Molecular Expressions: Virtual Scanning Electron Microscopy. 1999. 13 Dec. 2007. 23 Oct. 2014 <http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/electronmicroscopy/magnify1/index.html>.
BibTeX Export Format
@misc{ Author = "Dennis Kunkel and Michael Davidson", Title = {Molecular Expressions: Virtual Scanning Electron Microscopy}, Volume = {2014}, Number = {23 October 2014}, Month = {December 13, 2007}, Year = {1999} }
Refer Export Format

%A Dennis Kunkel
%A Michael Davidson
%T Molecular Expressions: Virtual Scanning Electron Microscopy
%D December 13, 2007
%U http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/electronmicroscopy/magnify1/index.html
%O application/java

EndNote Export Format

%0 Electronic Source
%A Kunkel, Dennis
%A Davidson, Michael
%D December 13, 2007
%T Molecular Expressions: Virtual Scanning Electron Microscopy
%V 2014
%N 23 October 2014
%8 December 13, 2007
%9 application/java
%U http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/primer/java/electronmicroscopy/magnify1/index.html


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The AIP Style presented is based on information from the AIP Style Manual.

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Supplements TryNano Lesson: What Is A Nanometer?

A lesson plan for middle school designed to promote conceptual understanding of the scale of the nanometer.

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