Fluorescence microscopes have evolved with speed over the past decade, coupled to equally rapid advances in laser technology, solid-state detectors, interference thin film fabrication, and computer-based image analysis.
When coupled to the optical microscope, fluorescence enables investigators to study a phenomena in cellular biology. Foremost is the analysis of intracellular distribution of specific macromolecules in sub-cellular assemblies.
DIC components can be installed on virtually any brightfield transmitted, reflected, or inverted microscope, provided the instrument is able to accept polarizing filters and the specially designed condenser and objective prisms.
Upon walking into a busy laboratory it isn't unusual to see microscopes sitting on books, tilted at odd angles, and otherwise precariously supported in a variety of positions to accommodate their users.
Reflected light microscopy is often referred to as incident light, epi-illumination, or metallurgical microscopy, and is the method of choice for fluorescence and for imaging specimens that remain opaque even when ground to a thickness of 30 microns.