all about microscopes

A microscope is an instrument with which very small objects can be viewed. Generally, through glass lenses that make whatever we are looking at look very large. This device was created in 1590 by Zacharias Janseen, who invented a first prototype capable of generating 9 different magnifications. Initially, the microscope was built with the aim of improving the vision of people with diseases that severely affected their eyesight.

However, as the years passed, this device was taking on other types of uses. In contemporary times the microscope has served as a tool for medical and chemical research.

Being known as the most successful scientific object in history since its invention. Because it has not stopped reinventing itself and improving itself. In addition, it has made it possible to observe the microscopic world and everything that was unknown to humans in ancient times, with respect to bacteria and cellular functioning.

What are microscopes used for?

Currently, the microscope has endless uses. Technology has provided the possibility of having different types that can be applied in various work areas. The conventional or optical compound microscope is the most widely used in education. Through this, children and young people are taught how the growth of bacteria works. As in universities in careers such as biochemistry and medicine.

Speaking in a professional environment, electron microscopes are those used by experts. Because it allows to further increase the image of the object that we are observing. Whatever the type that is going to be used, without a doubt, they are used for human development and knowledge.

The microscope has served and still serves humanity as an indispensable tool. Thanks to this marvel of human ingenuity, it is possible to understand how viruses are produced and even how to attack them. Microscopes are used in bacteriology laboratories, in the pharmaceutical area for the creation of medicines and even in forensic investigation.

How do microscopes work?

How the microscope works depends on which type you are using. Mostly the microscope works by means of the refraction of light, as is the case with optical microscopes. Which, through their lenses, deflect light and produce an effect similar to that of a magnifying glass. Resulting in the object appearing up to 1000 times larger than it really is.

Also, there aremicroscopes that work by managing the direction of light. Basically, they work like an optical microscope, but through the distortion of light or the use of filters that allow specific objects to be observed in detail that deserve a microscope with detailed characteristics for it.

However, there are microscopes that magnify the image even more than 1000 times, without the need for light, such as electron microscopes. That they achieve this incredible feat because they capture an electrical wavelength and not a photonic one.

Types of Microscopes

The microscope, as it gained fame and recognition among doctors and researchers, also became an object that deserved to grow technologically. That is why thousands of manufacturers have tried to improve this instrument. Many times managing to create microscopes with excellent characteristics and designed for specific areas. In this way, we have today managed to have an exuberant number of types of microscopes.

Standard optical microscope

It is the oldest microscope in existence, also known as a compound microscope. It is made up of two aligned lenses, the first called the objective lens, which is responsible for projecting the original image, and the ocular lens. that the expansion provides. They are used for simple observations of tiny objects or very small living beings such as bacteria. You can enlarge the image of an object up to 1500 times.

Simple Microscope

Contrary to popular belief, the simple microscope was created after the optical microscope. It consists of a single lens that can enlarge the image up to 200 times. It is very similar to the lens of a magnifying glass, and they are used in the same way.

Petrographic microscope

This microscope is practically the same as an optical type. The difference is that prisms are placed both below and above the object to be observed. This as filters that make the light vibrate in a single plane, turning it into polarized light. The petrographic microscope is used in the area of ​​chemistry because it is used to identify minerals and substances such as crystals and microfibers.

Inverted compound microscope

This is another of the many existing variations of the compound microscope. It consists of a similar mechanism, but they differ because in this case the object is illuminated from above in the downward direction of the lens. And not like in the optical microscope that the object is placed against the light. It is mainly used to monitor the growth of bacterial cultures or the observation of fungi.


It is made up of two tubes of ocular lenses with paired objectives. They allow us to see the objective and control the size that we want to observe little by little. In addition, it offers the possibility of being able to manipulate what we are observing, and having a double field of vision gives a three-dimensional image.

Electron microscope

It is one of the best known and awarded worldwide, for being a fundamental element in scientific discovery. It differs from the others by using electrons instead of photons, forming an image up to 1,000,000 times larger. It is large and not portable at all, it is usually installed in fixed laboratories and can weigh up to 1 ton. However, they offer very low resolution images that can only be correctly identified by professionals.

Dark field microscope

With this type of microscope it is possible to increase the image of the object we are viewing by contrast up to 2000 times. A dark background is placed below the object and the light from the object is manipulated. It is generally used to observe cells, since they have transparent parts through which light can be deflected and produce the contrasting effect.


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