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Practical Forensic Microscopy

A Laboratory Manual

Wheeler, Barbara P.


2. Auflage April 2021
496 Seiten, Hardcover

ISBN: 978-1-119-15449-5
John Wiley & Sons

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An applied approach to teaching forensic microscopy in educational settings, featuring new experiments and an up-to-date overview of the field

Practical Forensic Microscopy: A Laboratory Manual, 2nd Edition, is a unique resource that brings the microscopic procedures used by real-world forensic investigators to the college laboratory, providing hands-on knowledge of the microscopes and microscopic techniques used in the field. Presenting a balanced, skills-based approach to the subject, this student-friendly lab manual contains dozens of experiments designed to cover the various microscopic evidence disciplines, including examinations of fingerprints, firearm, toolmark, shoeprint and tire impressions, gunshots, fibers, soil, glass breakage, drugs, semen, and human hair.

The second edition includes revised and updated experiments that reflect current technologies and techniques used in forensic science, including new experiments examining plastic film, food condiments, feathers, building materials, explosive residue, cigarette butts and more. Each chapter includes a list of simple objectives for the experiment, a general overview of the topic, further readings, and selected references. The manual contains worksheets and templates for students to use when compiling analytical results. The concluding chapter features an innovative case scenario that requires students to analyze items of evidence, complete a laboratory report, reach a conclusion, and present their findings. This popular lab manual:
* Teaches practical forensic microscopy skills through hands-on experiments and engaging practical activities
* Covers a wide range of microscopes and forensic tools, including stereomicroscopes, ocular micrometers, and fluorescence, polarized light, and phase contrast microscopes
* Explains simple stereomicroscopic techniques for analyzing various types of common forensic evidence
* Includes more complex procedures for examining biological, drug, and trace evidence Discusses laboratory safety, microscope maintenance, and the Micro Kit

Written by an author with years of academic and professional experience, Practical Forensic Microscopy: A Laboratory Manual, 2nd Edition, is a must-have companion for any college-level forensic science course with a laboratory component, and is a useful supplement for related courses that cover microscopy and the principles of forensic lab procedures.

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xi

Laboratory Safety xiii

Microscope Maintenance xv

The Micro Kit xvii

About the Companion Website xix


1 Stereomicroscope 3

Experiment 1A: Familiarization with the Stereomicroscope 5

2 Compound Light Microscope 13

Experiment 2A: Familiarization with the Compound Light Microscope 15

Experiment 2B: Measurements Using the Ocular Micrometer 23

Experiment 2C: Microscopic Mounting Techniques 29

Experiment 2D: Determining Refractive Index 35

3 Polarized Light Microscope 47

Experiment 3A: Familiarization with the Polarized Light Microscope 49

Experiment 3B: Determining Refractive Index of Anisotropic Materials 57

Experiment 3C: Determining Sign of Elongation and Birefringence 63

4 Fluorescence Microscope 69

Experiment 4A: Familiarization with the Fluorescence Microscope 71

5 Phase Contrast Microscope 77

Experiment 5A: Familiarization with the Phase Contrast Microscope 79


6 Experiment 6: Physical Match Examinations 87

7 Experiment 7: Construction Examinations of Evidence 93

8 Experiment 8: Lamp Filament Examinations 103

9 Experiment 9: Fingerprint Examination and Comparison 113

10 Experiment 10: Tool Mark Examinations 121

11 Experiment 11: Firearms Examinations 127

Experiment 11A: Gunshot Residue Examinations 135

12 Experiment 12: Shoe and Tire Impression Examinations 145

13 Experiment 13: Botanical Examinations 151

14 Experiment 14: Paint Examinations 159

15 Experiment 15: Cigarette Butt Examinations 165

16 Experiment 16: Document Examinations 173

17 Experiment 17: Hair Examinations 183

Experiment 17A: Animal Hair Examinations 195

Experiment 17B: Determination of Racial and Somatic Origin Characteristics of Human Hair 205

Experiment 17C: Human Hair Examinations and Comparisons 213

Experiment 17D: Evaluation of Human Hair for DNA 223

18 Experiment 18: Feather Examinations 231

19 Experiment 19: Glass Breakage Determinations 239

Experiment 19A: Glass Examinations 247

20 Experiment 20: Fiber Examinations 257

Experiment 20A: Natural Fiber Examinations 265

Experiment 20B: Man-made Fiber Examinations 279

Experiment 20C: Fiber Comparisons 289

21 Experiment 21: Soil Examinations 295

Experiment 21A: Identification of Minerals in Soil 303

22 Experiment 22: Microchemical Testing -- Inorganic Ions 317

23 Experiment 23: Building Material Examinations 329

24 Experiment 24: Explosive Residue Examinations 337

25 Experiment 25: Food Condiment Examinations 345

26 Experiment 26: Plastic Film Examinations 355

27 Experiment 27: Microscopic Examination of Controlled Substances 363

28 Experiment 28: Semen Examinations 377


29 Experiment 29: Fourier Transform Infrared Microspectrometry Examinations 385

30 Experiment 30: UV-Visible-NIR Microspectrophotometry Examinations 395

31 Experiment 31: Thermal Microscopy Examinations 405

32 Experiment 32: Scanning Electron Microscopy Examinations 413

33 Experiment 33: Case Study Scenario 423


A Optical Properties of Natural Fibers 431

B Optical Properties of Man-made Fibers 433

C Michel-Lévy Chart 437

D Dispersion Staining Graph 439

E Circle Template 441

Glossary of Microscopy Terms 443

Index 453
Barbara P. Wheeler worked with the Kentucky State Police Forensic Laboratory for many years, providing forensic work and analytical examinations to the law enforcement community. As Adjunct Professor in the Forensic Science Program at Eastern Kentucky University, she taught in various forensic courses and with placing students in laboratory internships. Wheeler has worked thousands of criminal cases and has testified in district, state, and federal courts as an expert witness in forensics.

B. P. Wheeler, Eastern Kentucky University