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Abbe Condenser: A simple device that condenses and

focuses the light coming from the light source. The user can
adjust a moveable Abbe Condenser, whereas one that is not
moveable has a fixed focus. A condenser is most important at
1000x and above.

Oil Immersion: A lens that requires a drop of special oil on the

subject for use. The oil is put on the cover slip, and the
objective is actually lowered into the oil. Oil Immersion lenses
are sealed so as to not be damaged by the oil. A non-oil
immersion lens should never be lowered into immersion oil.
Once you get into very high magnification, about 1000x and
beyond, you start fighting a battle with the characteristics of
light. Light travels in waves, and when you magnify something
1000 times there are fewer of those waves passing through the
subject and into the lenses (enabling you to see). Immersion oil
allows you to control and actually "bend" more of that light into
the lens so that you can see. Without the oil, you would not be
able to focus on the image. Our 3089F Premium has a 100x
oil immersion lens. Immersion oil is included with this

Binocular: Having two eyepieces. All stereomicroscopes and

some microscopes are binocular. Since each individual is
different, our binocular scopes allow for interpupillary
adjustment (eye spacing).

Diaphragm: A simple device between the light source and the

stage that is used to vary the aperture to refine the stream of
light that passes through the subject.

Parcentered: A microscope that is parcentered is one in

which the object in the center of view will remain in the center
when the objective is rotated.

DIN Objective: DIN (Deutsche Industrie Normen) represents

an international standard for microscope objectives. This
standard specifies the exact threading and focal length, and
insures compatibility with lenses from any microscope
manufacturer in the world. Our microscopes with DIN lenses
assure you that your scope will not be obsoleted several years
down the road by an accidently broken lens.

Parfocal: A microscope that is parfocal is one which, if it is in

focus with one objective, when the objective is rotated, will
remain in focus.

Stereo Microscope: A stereo microscope is one which

provides a magnified, three-dimensional view of a visible
object. It has two eyepieces (binocular) as well as two
objectives. Since you are looking all the way through the scope
using two complete sets of lenses, your eyes are able to see
the subject three dimensionally. A stereo microscope is best
used for close up examination of objects which can be seen
with the naked eye, such as stamps, coins, insects, rocks, etc.
You would not normally look at slides with a stereo

Eyepiece: The lens closest to the eye when looking through a

microscope or stereomicroscope. The eyepiece is also called
the occular.

Mechanical Stage: A device which is mounted on the

microscope stage, and by means of two dials allows precise
movement and positioning of the slide. A mechanical stage is
most valuable at 400x or higher where precise movement is
most critical.

Subject: That which is being examined under a microscope or

Objective: The lower lenses, closest to the specimen. The
objectives are fitted into the nosepiece, and most scopes have
more than one. On stereomicroscopes, there is a matched
pair of objectives (ie, you are looking through two eyepieces,
and two objectives), whereas on a compound microscope
there is a just single objective in use at any time (regardless of
the number of eyepieces).

These are three different microscopic techniques. Brightfield is

the standard technique, which retains the natural colors of the
specimen. the specimen appears dark on a bright background.
Brightfield is suitable when you want to see the natural colors
of the specimen or when you observe stained samples.

Bright field microscopy is the conventional

technique. It is suitable for observing the natural colors of a
specimen or the observation of stained samples. The
specimen appears darker on a bright background.

Darkfield microscopy shows the specimens bright on

a dark background. Brightfield microscopes that have a

Occular: Another term for the eyepiece.

condenser with a filter holder can be easily converted to

darkfield by placing a patch stop filter into the filter holder. The
specimens appear brigh, because they reflect the light from the
microscope into the objective.

Phase contrast microscopy requires special phase

contrast objectives and a special phase contrast condenser.
This technique is useful for observing unstained specimens
that lack a color (eg. bacteria). The optics will convert the
differences in refractive index of the specimen into brightness
Polarization microscopy also produces a bright
specimen on a dark background. It can also be easily
improvised with a brightfield microscope. A polarizing filter is
placed above the lamp and another one is placed between the
specimen slide and the objective. Parts of the specimen will
then light up. optically active crystals on the slide will produce
nice colors.
Fluorescence microscope is an optical
microscope that
uses fluorescence and phosphorescence instead of, or in
addition to, reflectionand absorption to study properties of
organic or inorganic substances.[1][2] The "fluorescence
microscope" refers to any microscope that uses fluorescence
to generate an image, whether it is a more simple set up like
an epifluorescence microscope, or a more complicated design
such as a confocal microscope, which uses optical
sectioning to get better resolution of the fluorescent image.

composition. Therefore TEM can show many

characteristics of the sample, such as morphology,
crystallization, stress or even magnetic domains. On the
other hand, SEM shows only the morphology of samples.

The sample in TEM has to be cut thinner whereas there is

no such need with SEM sample.

TEM has much higher resolution than SEM.

SEM allows for large amount of sample to be analysed at

a time whereas with TEM only small amount of sample
can be analysed at a time.

SEM is used for surfaces, powders, polished & etched

microstructures, IC chips, chemical segregation whereas
TEM is used for imaging of dislocations, tiny precipitates,
grain boundaries and other defect structures in solids

In TEM, pictures are shown on fluorescent screens

whereas in SEM, picture is shown on monitor.

SEM also provides a 3-dimensional image while TEM

provides a 2-dimensional picture.

Ultraviolet microscopes have two main purposes.

The first is to utilize the shorter wavelength of ultraviolet
electromagnetic energy to improve the image resolution
beyond that of the diffraction limit of standard optical
microscopes. This technique is used for non-destructive
inspection of devices with very small features such as those
found in modern semiconductors. The second application for
UV microscopes is contrast enhancement where the response
of individual samples is enhanced, relative to their surrounding,
due to the interaction of light with the molecules within the
sample itself.


Infrared microscopy refers to microscopy performed

at infrared wavelengths.


Scanning acoustic microscope (SAM): These

devices use focused sound waves to generate an image. They
are used in materials science to detect small cracks or
tensions in materials. SAMs can also be used in biology where
they help to uncover tensions, stress and elasticity inside
biological structure.

Scanning Electron Microscope vs Transmission Electron


SEM is based on scattered electrons while TEM is based

on transmitted electrons.
SEM focuses on the samples surface and its composition
whereas TEM provides the details about internal



Always carry a microscope with both hands, one grasping

the handhold in the back and one grasping the bottom.
Do not swing the microscope at arms length and do not
bang it onto the bench top.
Never place the microscope near the bench's edge and
keep electric cords out of the way, towards the center of
the bench.
All of our compound microscopes are parfocal, meaning
that the objects remain in focus as you change from one
objective lens to another. Examine your material first using
the lower power objective (i.e. 10X); then use a higher
power objective (i.e. 20X or 40X). Because the objectives
are parfocal, you need to use only the fine focus knob to
fine tune your image. Never use the coarse adjustment to
focus downward. Replace and remove a slide only after
the lowest power objective has been rotated into viewing
Never attempt to repair a microscope or force an
adjustment knob. You may severely damage the

Compare prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.

1. They both have DNA as their genetic material.
2. They are both membrane bound.
3. They both have ribosomes .
4. They have similar basic metabolism .
5. They are both amazingly diverse in forms.
1. eukaryotes have a nucleus, while prokaryotes do not
2. eukaryotes have membrane-bound organelles, while
prokaryotes do not. The organelles of eukaryotes allow them to

exhibit much higher levels of intracellular division of labor than

is possible in prokaryotic cells.
3. Eukaryotic cells are, on average, ten times the size of
prokaryotic cells.
4. The DNA of eukaryotes is much more complex and therefore
much more extnsive than the DNA of prokaryotes.
5. Prokaryotes have a cell wall composed of peptidoglycan, a
single large polymer of amino acids and sugar . Many types of
eukaryotic cells also have cell walls, but none made of
6. The DNA of prokaryotes floats freely around the cell; the
DNA of eukaryotes is held within its nucleus and associated
with histones (proteins)
7. Eukaryotes undergo mitosis; prokaryotes divide by binary
fission (simple cell division)