Microscope - parts and functions you need to know

Microscope - parts and functions you need to know

The microscope is an elementary tool for observing microorganisms, as well as other small objects. You can also use it to learn about the structure of tissues of larger living organisms, and also details of the structure of various types of materials or objects. This is possible thanks to the special design of the microscope, which allows you to obtain a highly magnified, and at the same time clear, image. It is worthwhile to get acquainted with its various parts, since each of them plays its own role in the proper operation of the microscope.

Construction of the optical microscope

The optical microscope is the most popular type of telescope that most of us have the opportunity to work with, if even at the school stage. Thanks to it we can see slivers, as well as viruses and bacteria. It is able to magnify the image very much, but a lot also depends on its construction.

It consists of moving and fixed parts, as well as components that generate images or are used to fine-tune the microscope. For this reason, the mechanical and optical systems in a microscope are distinguished, and it is possible to additionally specify the lighting system as well.

Mechanical system

With the help of a mechanical system, it is possible to regulate the settings of the optical parts in the microscope, or the positioning of the specimen being examined. This includes the table on which the specimen is placed. There is a tripod connected to it, on which all the parts of the microscope are fixed, and its task is to keep them in one axis. We can also include the tube to the mechanical components, in which the eyepieces are embedded, as well as the turret, that is, the part where the microscope lens is fixed. The micrometer screw and the macrometer screw, on the other hand, are used for precise focus adjustment.

Optical system of the microscope

The optical system contains the most important components of any microscope. These are optical parts, such as the eyepiece and the microscope objective. They can be replaced and thus affect the parameters of the image obtained with the microscope. The objective of a microscope is made up of lenses that magnify and sharpen the image. It is transmitted to the eyepiece, which further magnifies the image formed by the objective lens. The eyepiece is also built of lenses, and it is through the eyepiece that we look at the slide. Both of these parts are located at the two ends of the tube.

optical elements

Light source in the microscope

An optical microscope must also be equipped with a light source so that we can see a bright image. It is placed under the table to illuminate the specimen under examination from underneath. The light source in a microscope can be natural or artificial. In older generation models it is a mirror, which must be set at the right angle to reflect light from the environment. In newer models, small bulbs are installed so that we can get the right amount of light in any condition. They can also be equipped with an additional mirror.

Microscopes are also equipped with a condenser. This is an optical system that works with the objective lens to focus light and direct it to the observed specimen. As a result, it is intensely illuminated.

light source in the microscope

How does the optical microscope work?

Microscopic observations are possible thanks to the eyepiece, because it is through it that we look at the object under study. The objective produces a magnified intermediate image, which is further magnified just through the eyepiece. It is still necessary to sharpen the image and this is made possible by two screws.

The macrometer screw is used for initial focus settings. With its help, the table is regulated, more specifically, its position. It can be brought closer or further away from the lens, as well as moved sideways. This also sets the lens to a specific area of the sample to be examined. The micrometer screw is used for more precise settings, as well as for taking measurements, as it is usually equipped with a micrometer scale.

The microscope's tripod is designed to hold the whole construction and ensure its stability. A heavy, thus stable microscope is better to work on. The revolver allows easy replacement of the objective lens. So every part in the microscope is extremely important, and we can do research thanks to it.

optical microscope

Construction vs. microscope magnification and other parameters

Inherent in the design of a microscope are its capabilities and parameters. The magnification range of the eyepiece and objective lens determines the magnification of the microscope. You can replace these elements, which is very useful, since different microscope slides may require a different magnification. On the other hand, the sharpness of the image we can obtain in the microscope depends on the precise screw settings.

Therefore, it is very important to know how to operate the microscope itself so that you can get the most out of its construction. It is also worth learning all the terms related to the microscope and observations, so that you know, for example, how to adjust the parameters of the interchangeable optical elements to the research carried out.

It may seem that the construction of a microscope is not an important issue. But if you want to make interesting observations with it, this is the basis from which you should start. Thanks to this, you will know what each element of the microscope is responsible for, and also its operation will be much easier. Prepared in this way, you can sit down to your research with greater confidence and begin to uncover the mysteries of the microworld.


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