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Photographic gallery.  Thousands of particles under the microscope.

Pencil Debris

This is from an environmental tapelift collected in a school classroom. The yellow flake in the lower left corner of this image is from the yellow paint on the surface of the pencil. The circular particle on the right above the centerline is the only pencile lead particle in this image. It exhibits the highlights typical of these types of particles when illuminated by darkfield reflected light illumination. the other black particles are charred wood, tire wear, and other combustion products.

Transmitted Off Circular Polarized Light and Reflected Darkfield Illumination


Pencil debris includes the carbon fragments from the "lead" of the pencil, wood sawdust, and paint from the surface of the pencil. The carbon fragments are actually a blend of clay and graphite.

Significance in the Environment:

Characteristic Features:

Graphite is relatively reflective and so the particles from the pencil lead are speckled when viewed
with reflected light.

Associated Particles: