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Chapter 5:
Case Study 1: Confocal Microscopes
The confocal microscope is an optical instrument that can obtain a highresolution 3D image of the microscopic structures of an object. In this chapter, the confocal microscope is examined—from its working principle to its optical layout—using mainly geometrical optics. With this example, and using knowledge of geometrical optics, readers can acquire some skills to understand the working principles of other optical systems. In the following sections, first, the fundamentals of a standard optical microscope are summarized in order to help readers understand the confocal microscope; next, the basic principles of the confocal microscope and some of its main components are provided; finally, two typical confocal microscopes are presented.
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