The Internet Microscope is an image library, with a difference. Its web site (http://www.umist.ac.uk/~intmic/) is dedicated to the explanation and illustration of the relationship between microstructure, properties and processing in materials science. A growing selection of the samples is aimed directly at schools and colleges.
The microscope has been used with undergraduate teaching at the University in conjunction with computer presented multiple choice questions. It has replaced microscopy laboratories for a class of 100 engineering students, for whom materials science forms a small but important part of their syllabus. The microscope also allows students to test and revise their knowledge of phase diagrams.
The Internet Electron Microscope is an exciting development of the existing web site. It makes use of the concept of “Learning by Doing”. It will give schools and colleges on-line control of a free, simple and easy to use scanning electron microscope. Samples will range from sugar cubes to silicon chips, offering a real experience of microscopy.