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Uses of Microscopes

11/19/2012 6:25:58 PM | by Anonymous


Microscope is an optical instrument used to magnify images that are too small to be perceived by the naked eye. They are perceived as scientific equipment commonly used in laboratories. The reason behind this perception may be brought by the fact that they are required to be used by Secondary students during Science activities. Besides this application, microscope has other more important uses.


There are various types of microscope but loupes and magnifying glass may be considered the simplest among its forms. They only have one lens and fall under the category simple microscope. A magnifying glass is used as a part of introduction to children to microscopy and science. Loupes, on the other hand, are utilized by jewellers for examining specimens to determine quality and grading. These are only the basic applications of microscopes. Those with more complex designs such as microscopes with compound lenses have more vital applications.


Hospitals and healthcare are some of the institutions that make use of microscopes. Doctors and health practitioners use it determine a person’s sickness. They will observe body tissues through microscopes. If they found an abnormality on the tissue, it is a sign that the patient might have a cancer.


Apart from medicine, microscopes are also being utilized in the field of geology and archaeology. They are applied to observe objects found in layers and surfaces such as rocks and organs. The type of microscope used in this application is electron microscope. It works by transmitting a stream of electrons which reaction would depend on the material. The movement of the electrons can be analyzed through the computers attached to the object which will provide a black and white 2D view of the object. In contrast to the previous type, confocal microscope uses a laser beam instead of light to illuminate an object. This causes the images to be shown on computer monitor digitally enhanced.


Another application of microscopes is in forensic science. They will use it to study tiny evidences like hair, tool marks, soil, ink or just anything that looks suspicious in a crime scene. Every person has its own unique identification which is the finger print. A simple finger print left on an evidence can help the authorities in searching for a crime suspect. In order to effectively and accurately generate results, forensic laboratories are built to be equipped with various microscopes.


Forensic microscopes include compound microscope, comparison microscope, stereomicroscope and scanning electron microscope. Compound microscope uses two lenses wherein the specimen has to be thin enough to be placed over a glass where it will be examined. Comparison microscope allows two specimens to be observed at the same time. This is useful in order to recognize the similarities and differences of the samples. Stereomicroscope, on the other hand, is used so samples which are not thin enough to be seen using a compound microscope can be examined on three dimensions. To be able to look into the elements of tiny specimen such as gun powder residue and ink, what crime labs use is scanning electron microscopes.

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