A ceremony that dedicated a new fast scanning confocal microscope, which was purchased through the generosity of Dr. Ken Young ’72, was an opportunity for some 1972 classmates to visit the Department of Physics. This event, along with Prof. Gene Mele’s ’72 seminar, attracted several of our alumni including Dr. Jim McGroddy ’58, who sponsors The McGroddy Frontiers in Science Seminar Series, his wife Bonnie, Dr. Richard Kelly ’59, Sebastian Hurtado Parra ’15, and others. It was a great opportunity for our current majors to interact and chat with our alumni.
Our student will use the confocal microscope in their upper level physics courses and research. Laser scanning confocal microscopy is an essential tool in biological, biochemical, and biomedical sciences. It plays a similar role to scanning electron microscopy in materials science. Moreover, confocal microscopes can be used to perform pseudo-infinite depth of field imaging without the need for a vacuum system, topographic imaging, luminescence imaging, and Raman spectroscopic imaging, just to name a few applications. These and other capabilities make confocal microscopy a versatile addition to the Concentration in Materials Science curriculum as a novel technique of materials science characterization toolkit.