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Introduction to Light Microscopy: The Compound Microcope

I. Microscope Components:
a. Binocular eyepiece tube
b. Revolving Nose piece
c. Arm and Base
d. Stage and its associated parts
i. Movable slide clamp
ii. Stage motion controls
II. Optical Components
a. Light source
b. The condenser
c. Objective lenses
d. Resolving power
e. Depth of field
f. Parfocality
g. Working Distance
h. Ocular Lenses

1. What is the purpose of the condenser?
2. What is the function of the objective lens?
3. What is the relationship between the numerical aperture and the resolving power?
4. What is the total magnification of the microscope when the 10X objective len is used?
5. Working Distance of the objective lenses is the distance between the tip of that objective and the speciment being viewed. Based on these information, which objective lenses give you the longest working distance ?
6. Why is the microscope called the compound microscope?
7. What are two methods to increase contrast to a specimen?
8. What structure in the cell does Acetocarmine binds to and stain it red?
9. What structure in the potatoe does potassium iodide I2KI binds to?
10. What structures in the cell does Toluidine Blue binds to?

Solution Preview

1. What is the purpose of the condenser?
The function of the condenser lens is to focus the maximum amount of light from the light source upon the specimen. The condenser must focused a small and bright focused spot for the best result.

2. What is the function of the objective lens?
The function of the objective lens is to to accomplish the first stage of magnification in the compound microscope

3. Define numerical aperture ( NA) ?
The numerical aperture is a measure of the light gathering capacity of the objective lens. The greater the value of NA, the greater the resolving power.

4. What is the total magnification of the microscope when the 10X objective len is used?

Ocular lens ( 10X) X 10X = 100X

Since the ocular lens magnifies the image formed by the ...

Solution Summary

The light microscope has become a valuable tool for the study of cell and molecular biology. The use of the light microscope has shown the intracellular distribution of the three classes of cytoskeleton using fluorescent tags. The distribution of DNA within mitochondrion using fluorescence tags has also been shown with a light microscope. The localization of telomeres on a chromosomes has also been shown with a light microscope. Overall, the light microscope has contributed great knowledge and broaden our understanding of cell and molecular biology.

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