An illumination apparatus with a specimen slide holder, an illumination source, an optical cavity producing multiple reflection of illumination light to a specimen comprising a first and a second reflective surface arranged to achieve multiple reflections of light to a specimen is provided. The apparatus can further include additional reflective surfaces to achieve the optical cavity, a slide for mounting the specimen, a coverslip which is a reflective component of the optical cavity, one or more prisms for directing light within the optical cavity, antifading solutions for improving the viewing properties of the specimen, an array of materials for analysis, fluorescent components, curved reflective surfaces as components of the optical cavity, specimen detection apparatus, optical detection equipment, computers for analysis of optical images, a plane polarizer, fiberoptics, light transmission apertures, microscopic components, lenses for viewing the specimen, and upper and lower mirrors above and below the specimen slide as components of the optical cavity. Methods of using the apparatus are also provided.
STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT SUPPORT
This invention was made with Government support under Grant No. NIST-W-7405-ENG-48, awarded by the Department of Energy and Grant No. CA45919 and HD17665, awarded by the National Institutes of Health. The Government has certain rights in this invention.