Microscopes



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Why Buy a Microscope?

Aside from being incredibly fun to play with, microscopes offer great educational value for users of all ages and backgrounds. For some, having a microscope could inspire a lifelong love of science. For others, looking at objects under a microscope is simply a great hobby. When deciding on a microscope, it’s important to select one that’s appropriate for the intended user’s age (many microscopes are designed with a specific age group in mind). Similarly, microscopes may be classified by a specific intended use, so knowing a microscope’s purpose before you buy it is vital. Whether you purchase your microscope with the secret wish of seeing your child grow up to become a Nobel Prize winning scientist, or merely as a hobby item for you and your family to enjoy, microscopes are great for whiling away the rainy days, using for school projects, or just plain having fun!

Microscope Types & Features

Microscopes come in a variety of types & with numerous different features. For instance, there are stereo microscopes (also called dissecting microscopes) that feature binocular style eyepieces. These types of microscopes are low-power models that are perfect for observing whole objects (i.e., pollen spores, etc.) in 3 dimensions. Then there are compound microscopes, which are high(er) powered microscopes that are great for magnifying even the tiniest of objects (things like internal cell structures and single-celled organisms). There are even digital microscopes with cameras attached for taking highly magnified photos of minuscule objects and saving them to a computer hard drive for sharing and further study. Of course, this is just 3 of the many types of microscopes that one can buy. It is highly advisable, therefore, to do plenty of research beforehand, so you can select your ideal model.

Microscope Magnification Strengths

Microscope magnification strengths (power levels) are even more varied than microscope types. For this reason, it is absolutely imperative that you seek to understand the different magnification levels so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting when purchasing a microscope. Most microscopes make no secret of their magnification power, but it is also important to know what the numbers mean. In its most basic sense, a microscope’s power is determined by taking the power of the objective lens (i.e., 4x, 10x, or 40x) and multiplying it by the power of the eyepiece (typically 10x). For compound microscopes with 2 or more objective lenses of varying strengths, then, the overall magnification power of the scope will change as you rotate one lens in and another out. Thus, a microscope with the aforementioned objective lens strengths and a 10x eyepiece would yield magnification levels of 40x, 100x, or 400x, depending on which objective lens was being used.