Teaching Compound Microscopes

Written by Patricia Skinner
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In a school or university setting, teaching compound microscopes are hard to beat! These are the ones with two eyepieces so that teacher and student can view a specimen together-or two students. This is a wonderful piece of equipment for the parent who loves to explore science with his or her child, too.

However, the usefulness of teaching compound microscopes stretches way up into the medical sciences. With powers of magnification that may go up as high as 640x, they can easily be used to teach medical students. Most compound microscopes have a selection of objectives, often three or four.

Teaching Compound Microscopes and Magnification

A standard eyepiece has a magnification of 10x, and if your objective lenses have magnification power of, for example, 10x and 40x, then you have total magnification powers of 100x and 400x (the total of the eyepiece multiplied by the magnification of each individual objective lens). This is just an example. As you can see, it's easy to work out the total magnification of any teaching compound microscopes like this.

Teaching compound microscopes are valuable pieces of equipment, so it's worth looking after them. Remember to turn off all light sources when you've finished viewing. It's also a good idea to keep your microscope covered when not in use to protect it. Certainly it shouldn't be exposed to extremes of temperature, and particularly not cold, damp ones.


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