What exactly is a microscope in a comparison? The light microscope (the “optic” or “photon”) is a unit of optical consisting of a lens and an eyepiece allowing to enlarge an object the best way to observe it in its smallest details. It is a process very close to what happens when we look through a binocular or a telescope.
Thanks to the use of lenses, the natural limits of our sight are exceeded in order to scrutinize with immense finesse infinitely small elements such as bacteria, fibers, insects, feathers, etc.
The microscope is to be distinguished from the binocular apparatus which magnifies the object only 5 to 50 times: the magnification of the best microscopes ranges from 100 to 1000 times.
The latter is, therefore, better in terms of precision and resolution: the microscope enlarges the image but also allows to have an extremely clear vision.
How does a microscope work?
How does a microscope work exactly? The operation of a microscope is quite simple. The enlargement process relies only on two complementary lenses.
First, there is the objective: a converging lens whose role is to magnify the object that must be seen.
Manufacturers often offer different objectives corresponding to greater or lesser magnifications according to the needs and the nature of the element to be observed.
The eyepiece is the optical system that enables the human eye to view an image. This second lens corrects the deforming effect of the first for better visual comfort, which allows you to enjoy prolonged observation.
There are also other accessories intended to maximize this ocular system such as the diaphragm and the mirror (which illuminate the sample from below), the sample holder and its metal clamps, focus knobs, or even screens. Digital microscopes have screens i.e., Mighty Scope or Cyclops.
Advantages & areas of application
What are the biggest advantages of a microscope in a comparison? The fields of application of the microscope are extremely numerous, starting with the medical sector.
In addition to the study of diseases and the development of vaccines or other remedies, the microscope makes it possible to evaluate, through blood analysis, for example, the state of health of a patient in order to make a diagnosis and to prescribe adequate treatment.
In education, many practical workrooms are now equipped with this optical tool for student training.
Scientists, and especially biologists, use it to better study the life of microorganisms and cells, their reproduction, movement, or evolution in order to better understand the world around us.
Forensic scientists also routinely use microscopes to analyze clues left at a crime scene, such as a hair, a fingerprint, or any microorganism that could guide investigators.
The pharmaceutical industry is not left out, since it uses the best microscopes every day to study diseases and find cures. The microscope is the ally of the best specialists and scientists in their quest for knowledge!
Alternatives to the microscope
The best alternatives under the microscope in a winning comparison there are two products that can substitute for the microscope, but certainly not replace it. The good old magnifying glass uses the same principle since it works thanks to magnifying lenses.
Ergonomic, inexpensive, very easy to use, and requires no power source, it offers a magnification capacity of up to 10 times.
However, it will obviously never equal the quality of observation offered by a microscope.
Second alternative: digital photography, which can be enlarged using image editing software. However, the power of the magnification remains quite limited and does not compete with the performance of the best microscopes.