Probably a common apparatus at most high school science laboratories, the compound microscope use the popular combination of dual lenses and light reflection. In a world becoming infinitesimally smaller in each generation, microscopes
of all types, caliber, sizes and capabilities can be found virtually everywhere - from laboratories in high school campuses, colleges, universities, to research and development laboratories of pharmaceutical companies and a host of other manufacturers.
Getting to Know Microscopes
The compound microscope has more than one lens - usually two - to do its job. The most basic of all types - the simple microscope uses a single lens. Impliedly, it offers a better view and more capabilities. Here are basics of microscopy:
1. Light Source.
Illumination is a basic requirement in microscopy. Some microscopes have mirrors that reflect light from sources outside of the microscope. Others, like the fluorescence microscope have their own specific sources of illumination, in its case a mercury-vapor lamp or a xenon arc lamp. Those using specific light sources are generally more powerful as these lights are more intense than generic day or lamplights used by ordinary compound microscopes.
2. Objective Lens.
All microscopes have objective lens - the lens closest to the object under probe; not all microscopes have eyepieces. Although the common image the word conjures is that of an ocular device, there are highly advanced microscopes that do not have an eyepiece. Some microscopes have three eyepieces for normal viewing and for mounting a camera, like the trinocular microscope. Instead, there are mounted on cameras and or video displays for a state-of-the-art, 3D view of microscopic objects or organisms. If you follow popular American TV, you would have already seen this in shows like House, MD.
3. Magnification Controls.
Yes, the term sounds impressive but it's also very basic. Microscopes, regardless of power and/or grade, allow you to control magnification levels with adjustment knobs. Usually, the magnification power is a factor of the objective lens and the eyepiece. In all cases, the maximum magnification is 2000x.
Compound microscopes are used in many fields and for various purposes. The type of compound microscope you need and the magnification levels you require is determined by what you want to see, the specimen you're using and what you want to do with the images. Incidentally, manufacturers have developed a range of microscopes with specific applications and users in mind. It's now common to find different grades of one type of microscope. Student-grade compound microscopes - probably an inexpensive tool - are found in virtually all high school laboratories across the globe. Professional-grade compound microscopes can be found in research laboratories where you usually find white coats. Fortunately, manufacturers of this equipment like Meji Techno, Nikon, and Olympus make customizing microscopes possible with a range of selections that come with various accessories. You can configure your own microscope to suit your specific application.
But wait! That's not all. Working closely with its user base, these companies are constantly working toward improving their existing line with creative and imaginative input from people who use their products the most. So, have you and your compound microscope met?
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