Right off the bat, learning the parts of a compound microscope will help you to get the most out of this research tool. Just so you know, a typical compound microscope magnifies up to 1000 times bacteria and can easily differentiate among objects a mere 0.1 micrometers apart. When you buy your compound microscope it will come with a couple of optical parts: The eyepiece and the objective lens. Here’s some detailed information about each.
One of the first parts of a compound microscope is the eyepiece. It’s also known as the ocular. As you look through the eyepiece or ocular, you’ll use it to simply observe a particular specimen. It has a cylindrical shape. This lens can be magnified from 5X on up to 25X. The most common range on most compound microscopes is 10X. The second part of this microscope is the objective lens. It’s the piece that allows you to really get up close and personal with your specimen. The objective lens’ primary job is to take in and accumulate light from the specimen.
Your objective lens in your compound microscope can be purchased with several magnifications and will be parfocal. What this means for you is that you can change from one lens to another while still focusing on the same specimen. Other parts include the stage that holds the slides in place, the nose piece, adjustment knobs, the bulb which is the light source for viewing slides, and a rotating disk under the stage. Using all the parts of a compound microscope removes all limitations as it relates to magnification. When you purchase one online, it will seem as though the blinders have been removed and you’ll gain clarity in more ways than one.