How to Use a Compound Microscope
Finding and Focusing on Microscopic Objects
LAB NOTES from Science Prof Online
There are many reasons why someone using a compound scope may have difficulty seeing the specimen. Once the microscope is properly set up, and the user is sure that it’s turned on and the light source is working, there is the challenge of finding and focusing on microscopic objects. The following are solutions to problems beginners commonly encounter when using a microscope.
Article Summary: The following is a troubleshooting guide to the most common problems encountered when trying to view specimens with a compound microscope.
How to Use a Compound Light Microscope
You have free access to a large collection of materials used in a college-level introductory microbiology course. The Virtual Microbiology Classroom provides a wide range of free educational resources including PowerPoint Lectures, Study Guides, Review Questions and Practice Test Questions.
Page last updated: 10/2014
SPO VIDEO Tutorial on Compound Light Microscope Parts & Operation
Properly Position the Specimen
Most specimens viewed with a compound light microscope are either wet-mounts of stained eukaryotic cells or bacterial smears. Make sure that the slide is properly prepared and then position it on the stage, with the area to be viewed directly over the hole in the stage where the light passes through.
- illustration of what can be seen with different microscopes from Nobelproze.org.
- animation from the Imaging Technology Group, University of Illinois.