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Visual Angle

How large an object appears, and how much

detail we can see on it, depends on the size of
the image it makes on the retina.
This, in turns, depends on the angle subtended by
the object at the eye.

Magnifying Glass (Simple Microscope)

A magnifying glass allows us

to place the object closer to
our eye so that it subtends a
greater angle.
The object is placed within the
focus of the lens so as to
produce a virtual image,
which must be at least 25 cm
(least distance of distinct
vision or near point) from the

Magnifying Power of a simple microscope

(Angular Magnification)

Where is the angle subtended by the object at the near

point of the eye and
is the angle subtended by the image to the lens.
M is the ratio of the apparent sizes of the image and the

Compound microscope

A microscope is used to
produce an image on the
retina larger than that
obtainable by placing a
small accessible object at
the near point.
The overall magnification of
a microscope is the product
of the magnifications
produced by the two lenses.

m me mo

Compound Microscope in Normal Adjustment



D (25 cm)

In normal adjustment an enlarged virtual image is

formed at the near point, 25 cm from the normal

Magnifying Power of a compound Microscope

Where is the angle subtended by

the object at the near point of the
eye and
is the angle subtended by the
final image at the eye.

In normal adjustment, the angular magnification

equals the linear magnification

M me mo

Resolution of Lens

The ability of a lens to produce distinct images of two

point objects very close together is called the resolution
of the lens.
The closer the two images can be and still be seen as
distinct, the higher the resolution.

Image of pollen grain with good resolution (left)

and poor resolution (right)

Resolving Power of a Microscope

The resolving power of a microscope is its ability

to enable detail in the image to be made out.
The resolving power depends on
The aperture of the objective
(The larger the aperture, the better the
The wavelength of the light
(The shorter the wavelength, the better the

The Eye Ring for a Microscope

The eye ring is the optimum position for the observers

eye to gather most light that passing through the

The image is then

brightest and the field of
view greatest.
The eye ring is also the
image of the objective
formed by the eyepiece.
An observer should ideally
have a pupil diameter
equal to the eye ring.

Modern Microscope Component


Refracting Telescope

A telescope is used to
produce an enlarged
retinal image of a distant
inaccessible object.
The job of a telescope

Light gathering power

Magnifying power
Resolving power

Magnifying Power of a Refracting Telescope

Where is the angle

subtended at the eye
by the object without
the telescope,
is the angle
subtended by the
final image at the

Refracting Telescope in Normal Adjustment

In normal adjustment the final image seen

through the eyepiece is adjusted to line at infinity
so that the eye is the most relaxed.
In normal adjustment, M f o
The length of a telescope in normal adjustment
= fo+fe

Resolving Power of a Telescope (1)

Resolving power of a telescope is the ability to

separate two closely positioned stars.

Diffraction by the objective is a factor that limits

the resolving power of a telescope.

Resolving Power of a Telescope (2)

The resolving power of a


depends on the quality of the

optical surfaces,
depends on the wavelength
increases as the diameter of
the objective increases.

Large lenses are difficult to

make and they tend to sag
under their own weight.

The Eye Ring for a Telescope

In normal adjustment, it can be shown that

f o AB

f e EE '

Reflecting Astronomical Telescope

Advantages of reflecting telescope:

No chromatic aberration
A mirror can have a much larger diameter than a lens
No spherical aberration if paraboloidal mirror is used

Hubble Space Telescope

Eskimo nebula

Eagle nebula

HSTs primary

Terrestrial Telescope

An erecting lens is inserted between the objective and

the eye piece to erect the inverted image formed by the

This system has the disadvantage of increasing the

length of the telescope.
An advantage is that it makes it possible to vary the
magnification of the telescope.

Galilean Telescope


The final image is erect so it is useful for terrestrial

It is shorter than the terrestrial telescope


Small field of view


The spectrometer is an
instrument used for

Producing, viewing and

taking measurements
on a pure spectrum
using either a prism or a
diffraction grating.
Measuring accurately
the refractive index of a
material in the form of a

Construction of a spectrometer

The essential parts are

The collimator which is fixed to the base of the

instrument, consisting of a slit of variable width, and
an achromatic lens.
The turntable, which can be rotated, and to which a
prism or grating can be attached. The circular edge
of the table has a scale graduated in degrees.
The telescope, which can also be rotated. A vernier
scale is fitted to the telescope where it adjoins the
table, enabling their relative orientation to be
measured to 0.1o, or less.

Functions of the collimator and the

telescope (1)

Spectrometer used to measure wavelength of light

Collimator C


Diffraction grating

Telescope T

Achromatic lenses


Functions of the collimator and

the telescope (2)

The collimator is set to

produce a parallel beam
of light from the light
source near the slit.
The telescope is set to
receive parallel beam of
light and hence
measures the angle of
deviation of light through
the diffraction grating or
the prism.

Adjustments of the spectrometer

The eyepiece is focussed on the crosswires.

The objective lens of the telescope is focussed
so that the crosswires are in its focal plane.
Using a slit of width appropriate to the source
brightness, the collimator lens is moved so that
the slit is in its focal plane.
Using the table levelling screws, the axis of the
table is made perpendicular to the plane
containing the principal axes of the collimator
and telescope lenses.