The preposition of “by” is used to indicate how something is done as in: “We are going to travel by car” and “He made history by becoming the first man to sail around the world.”
Now, how about sentences like:
(1) “The image of the particles was taken by an electron microscope.”
(2) “The absorption curve was measured by a spectrometer.”
I was told in school that "by" cannot be used to indicate a tool with which you perform some activity and would personally use “with” for the first sentence and “on” for the second but I see people write sentences like these all the time and am not so sure any more.
Can anybody shed light on this issue? Would you say sentences (1) and (2) are acceptable?