Science Station

Scheduled Times on Level 4

Come take a closer look at some of the tiny elements that make up our big world. Instead of using light, the Electron Microscope fires a beam of electricity! Every specimen has to go through the sputter coater that zaps the specimen with its gold ring that makes the specimen reflective. If you wanted to look at an ant more closely, the sputter coater would have to coat the ant with a thin layer of gold to be able to get its reflection.

The electron microscope allows you to zoom in up to 400,000 times larger than its original size! You will be able to see a selection of bugs, coins, fabrics and even dust from Mt. St. Helen! Explore the microscopic world during scheduled demonstrations of this region’s only scanning electron microscope (SEM) available to the public. View everyday objects – from hair follicles to newsprint to jewelry – magnified many thousands of times (check daily schedule for availability).

 

 

Hello from “SEM Jim”. I will be giving demonstrations using the Scanning Electron Microscope on Monday, January 17. This time we will be looking at the capability of the SEM to determine the elemental composition of samples (what things are made of). The SEM uses a technique called energy dispersive X-Ray spectroscopy to do this.

Come see me on January 17 for a cool demonstration. Check your program guide for demonstration times or come by the SEM lab on Level 4 at the back of DinoDigs anytime between 12:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Hope to see you there!


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Hi - My name is Jim White and I provide public programming using the Science Center's Hitach S-3500N scanning electron microscope (SEM). The Orlando Science Center is one of the few places in the US where the public can get up close and personal with an SEM and see its capabilities. The SEM has many advantages over light/optical microscopes and I will explain those in future posts. Some of its capabilities include high magnification (up to 100,000X in optimum conditions) and elemental analysis.

I choose from a variety of samples to observe each day I am here. Some of the items we have observed in the past include bugs, fibers, and coins.

Currently, I mainly do programs on a few weekend days a month. I will be posting my schedule as it is firmed up so you will know when I will be here and you can, hopefully, come by the SEM laboratory on Level 4 at the back of DinoDigs.

I will be posting a new blog at least every two weeks and will be talking about items dealing with the SEM as well as other subjects that I think you will find interesting.

Hope to see you soon,
"SEM Jim"


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