Definition of phase contrast in US English:

phase contrast


  • The technique in microscopy of introducing a phase difference between parts of the light supplied by the condenser so as to enhance the outlines of the sample, or the boundaries between parts differing in optical density.

    • ‘In addition, by 3-5 days after the temperature shift, early germ cells in many testes had abnormal morphology and appeared refractile in phase contrast, characteristic of dying cells.’
    • ‘Images were obtained on a Zeiss Axiophot microscope equipped with fluorescence and phase contrast.’
    • ‘Birefringence is a description of the anisotropic dependence of the phase velocity of light in a sample on the incident polarization state; therefore, it provides polarization-based phase contrast.’
    • ‘Giant vesicles were observed either by phase contrast or by differential interference contrast with an inverted microscope (Axiovert 135, Carl Zeiss, Germany).’
    • ‘Photomicrographs taken under fluorescence and phase contrast were scanned, and image analysis was performed using the shareware package Scion Image.’