MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: Why is a light microscope called a

Date: Wed Nov 24 22:34:11 1999
Posted By: Homero Rey, Sr. Application Scientist
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 937404847.Cb

  A light microscope is typically called a compound microscope because it 
magnifies an object in multiple steps.  First, the objective lens 
magnifies the object to form an intermediate image then the eyepiece lens 
magnifies this image further.  
  For example, in a microscope with a 40X objective and a 10X eyepiece the 
object under the microscope would be magnified 40 times by the objective 
lens then an additional 10 times by the eyepiece lens so the final 
magnification you observe would be 400 times.
  This is in contrast to s simple microscope which would consist of one set 
of lenses (a magnifying glass is an example of a simple microscope).

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