Can You Explain How A Simple Microscope Works?


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The simple microscope today uses just one lens or one set of lenses. An improvement over the simple microscope is the compound microscope, in which two sets of lenses are used, one set multiplying the magnification of the other. If one set (the objective lens) multiplies the object being viewed eighty times and the other set (the eyepiece) multiplies that image ten times, the resultant image will be eight hundred times as large as the object viewed (80 x 10). At the present time the greatest highly detailed magnification obtainable with a compound microscope is in the neighborhood of a thousand times. Beyond this, images do not have good "resolution," that is, they are not completely sharp and clear.

In the constant desire to peer deeper into the world of small things, microscope builders have turned from the visible portion of the light spectrum to ultraviolet, X ray and electron beams, which have much greater frequency of vibration and shorter wave lengths, thus affording better resolving power. This is because the wave lengths of ordinary light are longer than the dimensions of objects or the detail in them. They "jump" over the detail and therefore bring back no signal to the eye.

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