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SUMMARY

A theory is presented which describes imaging in both conventional and scanning microscopes. This theory embraces conventional microscopes with partially coherent source and scanning microscopes with partially coherent effective source and detector, including confocal microscopes.

The theory is applicable to the direct-view confocal microscope of Petrán̂, the design of which is discussed. This microscope combines the resolution and depth discrimination improvements of confocal microscopy with the ease of operation of the conventional microscope.