Examination of the theoretical foundations of microscopy, with an emphasis on stereomicroscopy and polarized light microscopy. Techniques are applied to the analysis of forensic evidence. Occasional offering.
Prerequisite(s) / Corequisite(s):
FRSC 210 and CHEM 112 and PHYS 112/112L or PHYS 212
Course Rotation for Day Program:
Most current editions of the following:
Use of a textbook in this course is left to the discretion of the
Suggested texts include the most current edition of the
Essentials of Polarized Light Microscopy
By Delly Recommended
An Introduction to Microscopy
By Bell & Morris Recommended
Introduction to Optical Mineralogy
By Neese Recommended
Chemical Microscropy for the Chemist, Criminalist and Conservator
By Kubick & Petraco Recommended
To learn about the properties of light, including: refraction, dispersion, polarization.
To learn basic microscopy techniques and sample preparation.
To be familiar with the use of and care for the stereomicroscope and polarized light microscope.
To understand how microscopy is utilized to examine and analyze forensic evidence.
• Describe how polarized light interacts with solid substances.
• Measure the refractive index and birefringence of fibers, chemicals and minerals using the PLM.
• Identify common minerals, chemicals and fibers by determination of their optical properties.
• Describe the six crystallographic systems of solids.
• Students will be able to determine a particle's crystallographic system by examination using the PLM.
• Perform microcrystal tests for anions and cations.
• Detect polymorphic forms of organic and inorganic
Stereomicroscopy and sample preparation
Polarized Light Microscopy
Refractive index and its determination
Crossed polars: isotropic and anisotropic substances, pleochroism
Determination of uniaxial and biaxial crystals
Optic sign and sign of elongation
Observation of interference figures
Identification of synthetic fibers
Examination of polymer films
Identification of minerals
Recrystallization and the identification of inorganic salts
Microcrystal tests for anions and cations
Observation of polymorphic forms by heating and cooling
Evaluation of various types of evidence: particles, hairs, fibers, minerals, chemicals, polymers, etc.
Recommended maximum class size for this course: 20
NOTE: The intention of this master course syllabus is to provide an outline of the contents of this course, as specified by
the faculty of Columbia College, regardless of who teaches the course, when it is taught, or where it is taught. Faculty members teaching this
course for Columbia College are expected to facilitate learning pursuant to the course objectives and cover the subjects listed in the topical
outline. However, instructors are also encouraged to cover additional topics of interest so long as those topics are relevant to the course's
subject. The master syllabus is, therefore, prescriptive in nature but also allows for a diversity of individual approaches to course material.