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How does a microscope work?

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Liban Ahmed                                 Experiment 1                           September 15, 2003

Activity 1: The Microscope


How does a microscope work?


A microscope enables an individual to see details that are otherwise too small to be seen with the unaided eye by the use of lenses and light to magnify an object.


  • Prepared slide                                                  
  • Microscope
  • Microscope slide
  • Cover slip
  • Medicine dropper
  • Lens paper
  • Newspaper samples from the colored comics and classified ads


Part A-Using the Microscope

  1. Brought a microscope to the lab area making sure to use both hands to carry the microscope and that the cord was not dangling.
  2. Looked through the instructions making sure there were no problems that could be posed.
  3. Organized the lab area and prepared all equipment including slides and the microscope.  
  4. Placed the prepared slide on the stage making sure the stage clips held the stage in place.
  5. Switched to the low-power objective lens and focused on the image.
  6. Recorded observations and calculated magnification.
...read more.


Viewed the slide under the lower-power objective lens. Recorded observations.Removed the slide.Cleaned up the lab area and placed the equipment in the designated places.


Summary of Results

Low Power

Medium Power

High Power

Magnification of Ocular Lens




Magnification of Objective Lens




Total Magnification




Size of Field of View




Amount of Detail Seen




Description of Color Comics

Low power: Blurry, dark outlines, string of pink, yellow, and green

Medium power: dark outlines, string of yellow, green and orange, pink blotch on the side

High power: detailed string of yellow and green, dark outlines, pink blotch on the side

Diagram of Classified Ads Under Low Power

Part A- Using the Microscope

  1. The image appears more detailed, focused and sharper in the medium magnification than in the low magnification.
...read more.


e) Revolving nosepiece: the rotating part of the microscope at the bottom of the body tube that holds the objective lenses

f) Diaphragm: controls and adjusts the amount of light

  1. One should watch the objective lens from the side when changing magnification because it allows the individual to prevent the lens from scratching the slide.
  1. The higher the magnification, the less the specimen is seen.
  1. The higher the magnification, the more detail that is visible.
  1. One would have to move the slide up and to the right to move an image from the top-right to the center of the field of view.
  1. One does not see the minute details of the comic, like the strips of colors, without the aid of a microscope.
  1. The letters of the newsprint seem to be backwards and have higher detail under the microscope than with the unaided eye.
  1. A microscope should be stored covered when not in use to prevent dust from accumulating.    

...read more.

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