Minerals with Cross-Polarized Light

Using some minerals samples that we had lying around at work and low budget tools (my fingernail to scrape off pieces of the minerals), I looked at crystal structures with a cross-polarized light Foldscope (see this post for instructions). First, some muscovite mica which forms in very thin sheets and has high birefringence (which is what…

Patterns in Plants

I love patterns and a few years back I discovered that there are beautiful patterns to be found in plants at a microscopic scale. So I was delighted to find this awesome pattern in a prepared slide of a corn stem: To me, it looks like a bunch of tiny skulls screaming. So delightfully creepy….

Bugs!

I found some old prepared slides of bugs so I decided to see how they look under the Foldscope. And they look great! Here are two different fleas:   And some mosquito parts: LEGS                                          …

Polar Bear Hair (with polarization)

I was very excited to come across this post on modifying the foldscope with polarizing filters: https://microcosmos.foldscope.com/2015/02/05/experiments-with-cross-polarization-and-fibers/ Since I work in a science centre, there is plenty of polarizing material hanging around but I decided that the easiest thing to do was to punch the lenses out of some old 3D glasses. Then I placed…

Found around the office

I received the Foldscope kit and after putting it together, I immediately looked around the office for things to view. The first sample I tried was a crusty piece of dead skin from my co-worker’s healing finger injury. (Yes, we tend to be gross around here) Well that was fun, but I wanted more. I…