Instructors who teach this course:

Upcoming Dates

November 12, 2018 to November 16, 2018

Credits: 3 | Pricing: $1995 | Instructor: Thomas G. Van Howe, Jr., Thomas J. Schaefer
8AM - 5PM
8AM - 5PM
8AM - 5PM
8AM - 5PM
8AM - Noon

Are you interested in this course, but it is either not offered or not at a time that works with your schedule?

You will be contacted once this course becomes available.

Course Details

Course Outline
  1. Assembly, mechanical and optical alignment, calibration, and preventive maintenance of the Olympus BX-51 microscope.
  2. Introduction to basic sample preparation techniques and considerations.
  3. Introduction to the principles of optical crystallography and crystal systems.
  4. Determination of particle size, morphology, color, texture, and magnetism in ordinary light.
  5. The principles of polarized light with hands-on exercises; perform refractive index determinations, and observations of pleochroism and dispersion.
  6. The principles of cross polarized light with hands-on exercises determining isotropic versus anisotropic, birefringence using the Michel-Lévy interference color chart, and qualitative and quantitative extinction characteristics.
  7. The principles of compensation with hands-on exercises using 1/4λ, first-order red, and quartz wedge; how to determine sign of elongation in birefringent fibers and elongated particles.
  8. Introduction to contrast methods including darkfield illumination.
  9. Hands-on exercises using spot, solubility, and microchemical tests on known and unknown specimens.
  10. Introduction to auto-fluorescence and fluorescence microscopy.
  11. Utilization of fiber and particulate identification resources.
  12. Characterization and identification of common contaminants and airborne particulates including fungal spores, pollen, and household and office environment materials.
  13. Application of PLM methods in real-world problem-solving scenarios through characterization and identification exercises of unknown bulk materials.
What You Will Learn
  • Principles, theory, and practice of polarized light microscopy (PLM)
  • Particle identification and materials characterization using a polarized light microscope
  • Overview of published reference literature
Who Should Enroll
  • Chemists
  • Materials scientists
  • Geologists/Mineralogists
  • Archaeologists
  • Criminalists
  • Anyone with the need for problem solving using polarized light microscopy
Student Learning Resources
  • Essentials of Polarized Light Microscopy and Ancillary Techniques by John Gustav Delly
  • Olympus BX51 polarized light microscope
  • The McCrone Atlas of Microscopic Particles, a free online reference aid to substance identification.
  • Modern Microscopy, a free, peer-reviewed, online journal for the professional microscopist.
  • All instrumentation, materials, and supplies necessary for successful completion of this course will be provided onsite by the Hooke College of Applied Sciences. 
What Students are Saying

“After being back in the lab for a while, I realize how much I learned in your class in just one week. All you guys do a really great job!” Proctor and Gamble

“This course was simply the best I have ever attended outside of a higher learning academic institution... The course undoubtedly serves as a solid platform for the development of polarized light microscopy capabilities in my organization.” Amgen

“The hands-on experience is awesome! The instructor really knows his stuff; he knows all of the background and theory and applies it in a practical way. Wonderful! Excellent atmosphere...” ExxonMobil

“The PLM course provided me all the information and knowledge that I was looking for... I think I'm in a much better position of conducting my project and other related works.” Catholic University of Korea

"The course is one of the only optical microscopy/polarized light courses offered in the U.S. The course provided a much needed foundation in PLM. The instructor spoke and explained clearly, and answered all questions. The access provided for question and answer sessions with the experts was very helpful also". UES, Inc./WPAFB/A.F.R.C

Suggested Prerequisites
  • Undergraduate science background
Satisfactory Completion Requirements

Students are expected to complete a variety of tasks in the form of hands-on exercises, laboratory exercises, characterization and identifications of unknowns, and quizzes. Students are notified at the end of the course whether or not they have successfully completed the requirements of the course based on:

  • 100% Attendance
  • Class participation
  • Completion of all course material
  • Completed and signed student evaluation form

Upon successfully meeting these requirements, a student is awarded a certificate of completion and 3 CEU credits, if available.

Industrial Microscopy Specialization

This course is part of the Industrial Microscopy Specialization program.

The program consists of attending four standard Hooke College of Applied Sciences (HCAS) courses with hands-on instruction and a 40 hour practicum study characterizing unknown samples.

  1. Polarized Light Microscopy
  2. Introduction to Scanning Electron Microscopy
  3. Sample Preparation: Particle Isolation and Handling Techniques
  4. FTIR Training

After finishing the four courses, students complete a Capstone Project, which is a project that requires students to characterize and identify samples by integrating all of the skills learned during the four courses taken for the program. Those students who successfully complete the four courses and associated practicums, and a Capstone Project, earn an Industrial Microscopy Specialization

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