Scotland Under the Microscope
From 27 July 2021
We normally think of rocks as being opaque. It’s hard to see inside them and hard to understand what they’re made of and how they have formed.
One of the greatest advances in geological science was the development of special microscope slides called “thin sections”. These let geologists use microscopes to see in detail the processes and history recorded by tiny crystals inside rocks.
The Hunterian has one of the biggest geological collections in Britain, including lots of rock samples and over 40,000 thin sections from all over the world. These are a huge scientific research, historical and teaching resource. But rock thin sections are also strange and beautiful. Once you have looked at a rock thin section under a microscope, you will never see rock the same way again.
This display features a small selection of thin section images from Scottish rocks in The Hunterian collections at the University of Glasgow.