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A Close-Up Look At Microscopes

By Logan Pallas

The microscope is an important educational tool used in scientific research and education. It is used to produce a larger image of an object for projects ranging from medical discoveries to important educational training in schools across the nation. Microscopes use technology to allow humans to view objects as they could never be seen with the naked eye alone.

A conventional microscope was first developed during the last part of the 16th century, which lead the world of science toward a prospering future in the world of medicine and biology. In it's earliest years, the microscope was primarily used as a recreational device and was found mainly in wealthier homes. It wasn't long, however, before technology and research began to blend for a new discovery relating to blood circulation. In addition, advancements in the study of bacteria and diseases were among the discoveries that followed.

The majority of microscopes are called light microscopes, which uses a series of high powered magnifying lenses in order to bend light rays. Studies continued through the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries while, at the end of the nineteenth century, an even bigger development occurred. With the realization that electrons could be used as a light source in microscopes, scientists were provided with a never before seen resolution. The first electron microscope was unveiled approximately 75 years ago, which allowed for even smaller things to be researched and viewed. Among the advancements, atoms were finally visible for the first time and viruses could finally be identified with the powerful magnification and resolution of the electron microscope.

A microscope is an important tool and should be treated carefully. Proper care should be exercised when handling, or transporting, a microscope in order to avoid damage to the unit. Always carry the microscope with both hands and in the upright position. If you have a special tote or a box, either will work fine for transportation. When the microscope is in use, always make sure that it is placed on a flat surface and one that is not shaky. A sturdy table is the best placement for a microscope, but avoid placing it close to the edge where it could fall off to the side. After each use, follow the manufacturer's instructions in proper cleanup of the unit, as well as any slides. If you do not plan to view the slide's contents again, they should be cleaned in order to avoid interaction with future items that are placed on the slide for viewing.

While much emphasis is placed on scientific research and the technical aspects of microscopes, it's important to remember that children can also benefit from the tool's educational teachings. When you're a child, it's fun to collect a sample of anything and check it out under a microscope. Of course, microscopes begin as toys for smaller children and advance to larger, and more realistic models, as the child ages and is better able to understand the importance of the tool. If a child learns to be familiar with a microscope at a young age, he/she will be much more prepared for biology classes and the various parts and styles of microscopes.

About The Author
Logan Pallas is a researcher and writer.

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