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Image depicts a man using scanning electron microscope.
An electron microscope has the capability to image individual atoms on a material. The microscope uses vacuum technology, sophisticated detectors and state of the art image processing software. (credit: Dave Pape)
The figure gives an artist's view of different stages of meiosis.
The image shows a sequence of events that takes place during meiosis. (credit: PatríciaR, Wikimedia Commons; National Center for Biotechnology Information)

Take-home experiment: make a lens

Look through a clear glass or plastic bottle and describe what you see. Now fill the bottle with water and describe what you see. Use the water bottle as a lens to produce the image of a bright object and estimate the focal length of the water bottle lens. How is the focal length a function of the depth of water in the bottle?

Section summary

  • The microscope is a multiple-element system having more than a single lens or mirror.
  • Many optical devices contain more than a single lens or mirror. These are analysed by considering each element sequentially. The image formed by the first is the object for the second, and so on. The same ray tracing and thin lens techniques apply to each lens element.
  • The overall magnification of a multiple-element system is the product of the magnifications of its individual elements. For a two-element system with an objective and an eyepiece, this is
    m = m o m e ,
    where m o size 12{m rSub { size 8{o} } } {} is the magnification of the objective and m e size 12{m rSub { size 8{e} } } {} is the magnification of the eyepiece, such as for a microscope.
  • Microscopes are instruments for allowing us to see detail we would not be able to see with the unaided eye and consist of a range of components.
  • The eyepiece and objective contribute to the magnification. The numerical aperture ( NA ) size 12{ \( ital "NA" \) } {} of an objective is given by
    NA = n sin α size 12{ ital "NA"=n"sin"α} {}
    where n size 12{n} {} is the refractive index and α size 12{α} {} the angle of acceptance.
  • Immersion techniques are often used to improve the light gathering ability of microscopes. The specimen is illuminated by transmitted, scattered or reflected light though a condenser.
  • The f /# size 12{ {f} slash {#} } {} describes the light gathering ability of a lens. It is given by
    f /# = f D 1 2 NA .

Conceptual questions

Geometric optics describes the interaction of light with macroscopic objects. Why, then, is it correct to use geometric optics to analyse a microscope’s image?

The image produced by the microscope in [link] cannot be projected. Could extra lenses or mirrors project it? Explain.

Why not have the objective of a microscope form a case 2 image with a large magnification? (Hint: Consider the location of that image and the difficulty that would pose for using the eyepiece as a magnifier.)

What advantages do oil immersion objectives offer?

How does the NA size 12{ ital "NA"} {} of a microscope compare with the NA size 12{ ital "NA"} {} of an optical fiber?

Problem exercises

A microscope with an overall magnification of 800 has an objective that magnifies by 200. (a) What is the magnification of the eyepiece? (b) If there are two other objectives that can be used, having magnifications of 100 and 400, what other total magnifications are possible?

(a) 4.00

(b) 1600

(a) What magnification is produced by a 0.150 cm focal length microscope objective that is 0.155 cm from the object being viewed? (b) What is the overall magnification if an eyepiece (one that produces a magnification of 8.00) is used?

(a) Where does an object need to be placed relative to a microscope for its 0.500 cm focal length objective to produce a magnification of –400 ? (b) Where should the 5.00 cm focal length eyepiece be placed to produce a further fourfold (4.00) magnification?

(a) 0.501 cm

(b) Eyepiece should be 204 cm behind the objective lens.

You switch from a 1.40 NA 60 × oil immersion objective to a 1.40 NA 60 × oil immersion objective. What are the acceptance angles for each? Compare and comment on the values. Which would you use first to locate the target area on your specimen?

An amoeba is 0.305 cm away from the 0.300 cm focal length objective lens of a microscope. (a) Where is the image formed by the objective lens? (b) What is this image’s magnification? (c) An eyepiece with a 2.00 cm focal length is placed 20.0 cm from the objective. Where is the final image? (d) What magnification is produced by the eyepiece? (e) What is the overall magnification? (See [link] .)

(a) +18.3 cm (on the eyepiece side of the objective lens)

(b) -60.0

(c) -11.3 cm (on the objective side of the eyepiece)

(d) +6.67

(e) -400

You are using a standard microscope with a 0.10 NA 4 × objective and switch to a 0.65 NA 40 × objective. What are the acceptance angles for each? Compare and comment on the values. Which would you use first to locate the target area on of your specimen? (See [link] .)

Unreasonable Results

Your friends show you an image through a microscope. They tell you that the microscope has an objective with a 0.500 cm focal length and an eyepiece with a 5.00 cm focal length. The resulting overall magnification is 250,000. Are these viable values for a microscope?

Questions & Answers

how can chip be made from sand
Eke Reply
are nano particles real
Missy Reply
Hello, if I study Physics teacher in bachelor, can I study Nanotechnology in master?
Lale Reply
no can't
where we get a research paper on Nano chemistry....?
Maira Reply
nanopartical of organic/inorganic / physical chemistry , pdf / thesis / review
what are the products of Nano chemistry?
Maira Reply
There are lots of products of nano chemistry... Like nano coatings.....carbon fiber.. And lots of others..
Even nanotechnology is pretty much all about chemistry... Its the chemistry on quantum or atomic level
no nanotechnology is also a part of physics and maths it requires angle formulas and some pressure regarding concepts
Preparation and Applications of Nanomaterial for Drug Delivery
Hafiz Reply
Application of nanotechnology in medicine
has a lot of application modern world
what is variations in raman spectra for nanomaterials
Jyoti Reply
ya I also want to know the raman spectra
I only see partial conversation and what's the question here!
Crow Reply
what about nanotechnology for water purification
RAW Reply
please someone correct me if I'm wrong but I think one can use nanoparticles, specially silver nanoparticles for water treatment.
yes that's correct
I think
Nasa has use it in the 60's, copper as water purification in the moon travel.
nanocopper obvius
what is the stm
Brian Reply
is there industrial application of fullrenes. What is the method to prepare fullrene on large scale.?
industrial application...? mmm I think on the medical side as drug carrier, but you should go deeper on your research, I may be wrong
How we are making nano material?
what is a peer
What is meant by 'nano scale'?
What is STMs full form?
scanning tunneling microscope
how nano science is used for hydrophobicity
Do u think that Graphene and Fullrene fiber can be used to make Air Plane body structure the lightest and strongest. Rafiq
what is differents between GO and RGO?
what is simplest way to understand the applications of nano robots used to detect the cancer affected cell of human body.? How this robot is carried to required site of body cell.? what will be the carrier material and how can be detected that correct delivery of drug is done Rafiq
analytical skills graphene is prepared to kill any type viruses .
Any one who tell me about Preparation and application of Nanomaterial for drug Delivery
what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
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Source:  OpenStax, College physics: physics of california. OpenStax CNX. Sep 30, 2013 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11577/1.1
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