The resolution obtainable in electron microscopic autoradiographs, using a photographic emulsion consisting of a monolayer of silver bromide crystals, was investigated theoretically and experimentally. The expected distribution of exposed crystals around a point source was calculated from the geometry of the preparation and from the range distribution of the beta particles emitted by tritium. From such a distribution an autoradiographic resolution of the order of 1000 A can be predicted. From the point source distribution, the expected distribution of grains around bacteriophages labeled with tritium was calculated. This distribution was also measured experimentally in electron microscopic autoradiographs of bacteriophages T-2 labeled with thymidine-H3. The two distributions agreed closely. It was also verified, using the nuclear region in thin cross-sections of Bacillus subtilis labeled with thymidine-H3, that resolutions of the same order were obtained for extended sources. It was concluded that an autoradiographic resolution of 1000 A could be achieved with a presently available commercial emulsion, although emulsions with finer grains might be desirable in some circumstances.

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