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Phase Contrast Microscopy

  1. Jeremy B Sanderson

Published Online: 21 AUG 2001

DOI: 10.1038/npg.els.0002635



How to Cite

Sanderson, J. B. 2001. Phase Contrast Microscopy. eLS. .

Author Information

  1. John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 21 AUG 2001


Phase contrast microscopy is a method that enables us to see very transparent objects, which are otherwise almost invisible by ordinary light microscopy, in clear detail and in good contrast to their surroundings. This is achieved optically, without altering the specimen by staining or other processing.


  • phase;
  • contrast;
  • refractive index;
  • amplitude difference;
  • phase difference;
  • interference;
  • positive phase contrast;
  • negative phase contrast;
  • halo artefact;
  • ‘phase-telescope’