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  • Print publication year: 2003
  • Online publication date: December 2009

4 - Getting started

Summary

Introduction

This chapter covers a wide range of topics, all of which are related to standard, routine microscope operation. Microscope operation can be divided into three levels: (1) operations common to all microscope models, regardless of manufacturer; (2) operations specific to a particular model; and (3) operations specific to a particular laboratory or location. In this chapter, we will only deal with the first kind of operations.

For operations specific to a given microscope model, we refer the reader to the microscope manual, which comes with every installation. Most manuals are very detailed, with photographs of microscope components and the layout of the console. In addition, routine procedures such as specimen exchange, photographic plate exchange, switching between imaging modes (which buttons to press), and so forth, are detailed in the microscope manual. For the beginning microscopist, it is a good idea to keep this manualat hand throughout the first series of microscope sessions.

In addition, there may be special (local) rules for such things as:

specimen and specimen holder handling (where the gloves are, what kind of tweezers should be used, how the specimen holder should be stored, etc.);

how to turn up the filament current (i.e. how much time should be left between subsequent filament current increments, should the acceleration voltage be left on between users, etc.);

what type of log should one keep? Is there a general log for all micrographs, or does every user keep a personal log? How does one sign up for microscope time?

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