Magnifying glasses and microscopes

At some point in our lives as students, we were taken to the science lab. In this laboratory we find several objects, among them an object whose name is microscope, another with the name of magnifying glass, etc. The latter is also called a magnifying glass.

Microscopes and magnifying lenses, used in several areas of research, are intended to allow us to see objects that we cannot see with the naked eye. These devices allow us to see a larger image than the image we would see if we were looking directly at the real object. We say that the degree of resolution of the microscope is nothing more than the smallest distance at which it can distinguish two objects.

Magnifying glasses appeared in Italy around 1200 and later spread throughout Europe. Historically, the first optical instruments built were the magnifying glasses, and soon after, around the year 1200, the magnifying glasses appeared. After that date, they reached all of Europe. The first microscopes were made in the 15th century and used a single lens.

As glass lenses were improved, microscopes also gained magnification power, although not as significantly. The magnification power was only improved thanks to the invention of the compound microscope.

This type of equipment consists of two lenses, or two lens systems. Compound microscope lenses are called objective lens and ocular lens. The objective lens is a lens that is installed very close to the object being observed. The ocular lens is very close to the observer’s eye.

The magnification degree of a compound microscope is actually the magnification product of each of the lenses. For example, if we have a microscope with an eyepiece lens that magnifies 10 times, and an objective lens that magnifies 40 times, the end product of magnification is 400 times.

The compound microscope can have interchangeable lenses, that is, lenses that can be changed according to the needs of the situation, being possible to choose different magnifications using the same instrument. For example, if a microscope has two objective lenses (one at 10x and one at 100x magnification) and two ocular lenses (one at 3x and one at 10x), the final magnification of the microscope might be as high as 1000 times.

To function properly, microscopes still have a system to illuminate the object being observed. Modern optical microscopes also use two eyepiece lenses to allow for three-dimensional vision.

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