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Big task lets lab see tiny matter

By Diana Baldwin Modified: May 2, 2008 at 9:21 am •  Published: May 2, 2008
Moving a scanning electron microscope isn't an easy task.

A lot of planning and special construction were required to protect and set up the microscope on the third floor of the new Forensic Science Center in Edmond.

State officials aren't exactly sure how much extra money was spent to make sure the 5-by-7-foot microscope isn't disturbed by the slightest vibration in the building, said Charles Curtis, the laboratory's director.

"It is very sensitive,” said Brad Rogers, a senior criminalist in the trace evidence unit. "Any electrical disturbance can affect its performance.”

As part of the building design process, state officials consulted with the engineers who made the microscope to figure out how to secure a disturbance-free work area.

Metal tubing, about 10 inches by 6 inches, runs from the first floor to the third floor and acts as a tuning fork, Curtis said.

The microscope is used to examine gunshot residue and tiny particles that can't be seen by the naked eye, Rogers Slideshow of the new OSBI lab in Edmond

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