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Parts of a Microscope – Facts about Microscope – Part II

General Knowledge | 8-14 yrs | Animation, Video

Parts of a Microscope and their Functions


In order to see anything in the world you require light. By throwing light on an object you can easily make out minute details. This is also true on the microscopic level and why specimens must be mounted onto glass. The light source is normally below the stage.


The stage is where you place the specimen that you want to examine. The glass plate with the specimen on it is mounted onto the stage with the help of slide-clips. The bottom of the stage has a hole that allows light to pass through and light up the specimen.

All mechanical stages can move front and back, on the x-axis and sideways, on the y-axis so you can focus on different parts of what you are looking at.


The lenses of a microscope are its most important part. The lenses that are mounted above the specimen, are the objective lenses. Most microscopes have 2 or more of these lenses that revolve so you can adjust the magnification by simply turning the lens turret.

The two eyepieces through which you look at your specimen rest at the top of the microscope. A prism at the head or at the bottom of the body splits the image of the specimen into two— one for each eye. These binocular lenses have adjustable magnifications, usually less than the objective lenses.

The eyepieces can magnify a specimen up to 10 times (10X) and the objective lenses can magnify it another 100X. This means that you are seeing objects 1,000X!


In the early 1900s, people began to understand how to manipulate electrons. Experiments with these tiny particles led to the realisation that they could use them to see microscopic things in atomic detail with an electron microscope.

An electron microscope shoots a steady beam of electrons onto a specimen. These electrons will bounce back where they are detected by a sensor. The sensor makes an image by reading the time it took for the electron to return. Using this technique, scientists are able to achieve resolutions of 1,00,00,000X.

Ask your teacher to take you on a special trip to the science lab one day. She is bound to also have some really cool specimens that you can look at.

For more such interesting General Knowledge articles and videos, visit: GK for Kids.