A Practical Guide to Optical Microscopy: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

A Practical Guide to Optical Microscopy

1st Edition

By John Girkin

CRC Press

256 pages | 141 B/W Illus.

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pub: 2019-06-30
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This practical guide to optical microscopy provides an outline of the physical principles behind different forms of optical microscopy, without using any complex maths. Detailed physics is provided in boxed sections, which can be overlooked by the non-specialist.

This book is an invaluable tool for use within research groups and laboratories in physics and life sciences, acting as a first source of practical information to guide less experienced users (or those new to a particular methodology) on the specific methods available, enabling them to select the "right tool for the job".


  • Written to be understood by a non-optical expert but with inserts in the text which provide the physical science background if desired
  • Brings together both conventional widefield and confocal microscopy with advanced non-linear and super resolution methods in one book
  • The first book to cover all current optical microscopy methods at a sufficient depth so the user can understand how the method works

Table of Contents

1. Introduction.

2. Understanding Light in Optical Microscopy.

3. Basic Widefield Microscopy.

4. Advanced Widefield Microscopy.

5. Confocal Microscopy.

6. Fluorescence Lifetime Microscopy.

7. Single Plane Illumination Microscopy.

8. Multiphoton Fluorescence Microscopy.

9. Harmonic Microscopy.

10. Raman Microscopy.

11. Holographic Microscopy.

12. Super Resolution Microscopy.

13. How to Obtain the most from your Data.

14. Selection Criteria for Optical Microscopy.

About the Author

John Girkin is professor of Biophysics at Durham University and Director of the Biophysical Sciences Institute in Durham. He moved to Durham in 2009 to take up this role having previously founded the Centre for Biophotonics at Strathclyde University, Glasgow where he was one of the first leaders at the Institute of Photonics. Originally trained as a physicist at Oxford and with a PhD from Southampton University (in Laser Spectroscopy of Atomic Hydrogen) he worked for ten years in industry including developing the world’s first diode laser retinal photocoagulator and diode pumped Nd:Yag laser. He moved back into academia in 1996 as one of the original Research Team Leaders at the Institute of Photonics, Strathclyde University.

His research focuses on the development of novel optical instrumentation to help solve challenges within the life sciences. His research covers a very broad range of activities from dental imaging in the near infrared through to rapid-genomic screening but an ongoing theme has been in developing and applying optical microscopy methods to life science challenges. His initial focus was in non-linear microscopy and he was one of the first pioneers in the use of adaptive optics in microscopy and has more recently been developing advanced forms of single plane illumination microscope for in vivo zebra fish imaging. A constant within his research has been to select the most suitable method for a specific task. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications and has served on both national and international funding panels.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Research & Methodology