Evolution of the Microscope

The Evolution of the Microscope

One of the staples in a laboratory is the Microscope that is useful in various types of lab experiments. There are various types of Microscopes based on their uses and these have varied applications and modifications.

Following are some commonly used lab Microscopes with their applications:

1. The Light Microscope: this is the most basic version of the modern day Microscope and compound Microscope is the most common light Microscope with two types of lenses to magnify an object. The ocular and objective lenses are based on an apparatus and the diaphragm controls the amount of light coming in. This type of Microscope has both coarse as well as fine adjustments. When light is projected through the aperture, and hit the object an image is created, which becomes an object for ocular lens and is then re-magnified. The higher the resolution of the Microscope, the more is the ability to see two separate items clearly.

Based on the various requirements arising for experiments in laboratory, there are other light Microscopes like are the dark‐field Microscope that contains a special condenser and helps see a light object on a dark background. Another alternative Microscope, the phase‐contrast Microscope contains special condensers to throw light out of phase to pass them through the object at different speeds. Another light Microscope is the fluorescent Microscope which uses ultraviolet light and this micro scoping employs fluorescent dyes.

2. Electron Microscope: A beam of electrons is the major source of energy in the electron Microscope. Due to the short wavelength of these beams, they strike most objects in their path and increase the Microscope’s resolution significantly. These electrons travel in a vacuum, so that contact with the deflecting air molecules can be avoided and the beams are focused on the object to be viewed through magnets. The final image is created on the monitor and it is viewed by technologists.

The transmission electron Microscope is a traditional electron Microscope in which the objects are placed as ultra thin slices on a wire grid and these are stained them with gold or palladium. The scanning electron Microscope is another contemporary type of electron Microscope. Due to its lower magnifications, it is not used for deep magnification, but the SEM allows 3D view of the objects.

3. Stereo Microscope: The Microscope is useful for three dimensional viewing as it has two optical paths reflected at slightly different angles. These Microscopes are relatively inexpensive and used for microsurgery, looking at surfaces and watch making or for inspecting circuit boards.

4. The Digital Microscope: The Microscope connects to computer monitors and an eyepiece can be used to peer into objects. Connecting this Microscope is like connecting a printer and computer software is installed to allow the monitor to display the magnified specimen.

5. The USB Computer Microscope: Such a Microscope does not need any preparation of the specimen and the images can be examined on a computer screen plugged into its USB port.But the Microscopes have a restricted magnification and are not comparable to the standard compound light Microscope

So based on the uses and carrying and placing limitations, one or more of the above types of Microscopes can be employed in a laboratory.

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