Thursday 5 December 2019

Sugar Crystals Viewed in Polarised Light

Nature produces some amazing and beautiful sights. We only have to watch the well-produced nature programmes to see this. Sometimes, however, we need optical instruments to help us see these wonders. 

In this case I've used a microscope to look at simple sugar crystals. The field of view is about 1.05mm by 1.59mm, and the sugar is viewed through crossed polarising filters.

I prepared the microscope slide for this rather simply. It is certainly not elegant, nor is it in any way a professional looking slide - but it works. I dissolved sugar in water until no more would dissolve. I then dripped a small amount onto the slide and waited for it to dry. I built up a rectangular trough around it using some of my wife's nail varnish, and the last coat I used to build up the trough also cemented the cover-slip into place. Simple.

I will do a another post to show the equipment setup I used for this but, in brief, it was a vintage Charles Baker microscope, with K√∂hler Illumination using a Cooke microscope light and two polarising filters.

For now I just wanted to share the pictures with you in the hope you will enjoy viewing them.

All content and photos © copyright Tony Benson