From Handbook of Image and Video Processing
Fatima A. Merchant Kenneth R. Castleman,
Advanced Digital Imaging Research

1 Introduction

Recent advances in the field of microscopy have been driven not only by technologic innovations in engineering, optics, computer science, and precision manufacturing, but also by fundamental discoveries in chemical and biologic sciences. The last two decades have seen various changes to the microscope, resulting in the current modern microscope, which is a powerful tool in biologic research and development. Although most of the changes pertain to advances in optics, today's microscopes are also fitted with ergonomic features, and they include automation of several manual functions. Microscopes today offer automated focusing, selection of objectives and filters, light control, and a wide range of other features. Moreover, the increasing complexity of biologic experiments performed with optical microscopy, and the complexity of data that can be obtained, have resulted in even more sophisticated optical microscopy systems [1-5]. Although a completely automated microscope is not required in most applications, there are a growing number of applications, such as screening a large number of specimens with different protocols, deconvolution, fluorescence resonance energy transfer (FRET) imaging, multispectral imaging and ion ratio imaging that require automated microscopes [6]. Furthermore, computer technology is changing the ways we access equipment, view samples, record, manage, and disseminate images. Digital imaging has created the need for archiving, managing, manipulating, and quantifying images. The coupling of computers to microscope systems has resulted in the development of optical imaging systems that can perform complicated experiments and provide more data, convenient...

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Scanning Probe Microscopes
Scanning Probe Microscopes forms images of surfaces by using a physical probe that scans the specimen. Examples include AFM (atomic force microscopes), MFM (magetic force microscopes), STM (scanning tunneling microscopes) and many others.
Measuring Microscopes
Measuring microscopes are used by toolmakers for measuring the properties of tools.  These microscopes are often used for dimensional measurement with lower magnifying powers to allow for brighter, sharper images combined with a wide field of view.
Metallurgical Microscopes
Metallurgical microscopes are used for metallurgical inspection including metals, ceramics, and other materials.
Optical and Light Microscopes
Optical and light microscopes use the visible or near-visible portion of the electromagnetic spectrum to magnify images of objects.

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