Color Atlas and Manual of Microscopy for Criminalists, Chemists, and Conservators

Color Atlas and Manual of Microscopy for Criminalists, Chemists, and Conservators

by Nicholas Petraco & Thomas Kubic

CRC Press LLC, Boca Raton, London, New York, Washington, DC (2004).

ISBN 0-8493-1245-0.

U.S. Orders: 800-272-7737, FAX 800-374-3401;
Canada & International Orders: 561-994-0555, FAX 561-989-8732.

313 pages; very highly illustrated. Hardcover. US $199.95.

This book is written by two authors with extensive experience in criminalistics, both as practitioners of forensic microscopy, and in the teaching of forensic science methods. In the introduction, they recognize the role of geologists, chemists, and materials scientists in solidly establishing polarized light microscopy (PLM) as “the initial method of choice for characterizing, studying, and identifying a broad range of microscopic-sized bits of matter.” They also note that “In recent years, art historians, art conservators, archeologists, architects, forensic chemists, environmental chemists, and gemologists … have joined the ranks of professions that use PLM methodologies in their work,” and that these new workers in the field need a text which is “short on theory and long on basic fundamental techniques.” Their stated goal, therefore, is to provide “a working manual that demonstrates simple, concise rationales that can be used by members of all these disciplines to characterize and identify broad ranges of materials, thereby enabling them to solve many of their analytical problems.” As materials encountered in casework, they provide a table of hairs, fibers, inorganic and organic compounds, and paints/pigments that reads like the index of a microscopic particle atlas.

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