Phase Contrast Microscopy- Definition, Principle, Parts, Uses


Phase-contrast microscopy is a technique that allows us to see transparent or colorless specimens that are otherwise difficult to observe with a conventional light microscope. These specimens include living cells, microorganisms, thin tissue slices, and other biological or non-biological materials that have little or no contrast in brightfield microscopy.

Phase-contrast microscopy was invented by Frits Zernike, a Dutch physicist who received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1953 for his discovery. He realized that light waves passing through a transparent object undergo a phase shift, which means that they are delayed or advanced in time compared to the light waves that do not interact with the object. This phase shift is proportional to the thickness and refractive index of the object, and it can be used to create contrast in the image.