Hair and Fiber Microscopy (1207)
COURSE OUTLINE & SYLLABUS
This is an introductory, survey course. Students characterize human and animal hairs, naturally occurring fibers, and man-made fibers. Methods for collection, screening, mounting and detailed characterization of hairs and fibers are covered, but the emphasis is on microscopy.
There is no prerequisite for this course, and it satisfies the same prerequisites as course 1201.
• Geometrical and physical optics, Koehler illumination, numerical aperture, resolution, contrast, and micrometry
• Sample preparation of hairs and fibers, human and animal hair morphology, measurements (diameter, medullary ratio, ellipticity ratio, scale count from casts).
• Crystallography of fibers, isotropy vs. anisotropy, polarized light, refractive index, color and pleochroism
• Characterization of synthetic fibers
• Dispersion staining
• Crossed polars, birefringence, extinction characteristics, extinction angle, sign of elongation
• Human hair comparison, color, treatment, pigment shape and distribution, damage, disease, medulla, root, tip
• Animal hair diameter, medulla, color banding, scale casts
• Vegetable fiber characterization
• Mineral fiber characterization
• Unknowns and sample handling
Note: An advanced and focused course in Forensic Fiber Analysis (1507) is also available.