Microscopes are incredible pieces of laboratory equipment, used in labs throughout the world.
These devices allow you to see all kinds of details, which would not be accessible to the human eye without aid. In fact, a whole science, called microscopy, has developed as a result of this ingenious invention.
These devices are powered up by ocular lenses. What are ocular lenses? Where are they located on a microscope? Continue reading to find out the amazing answers.
What Is An Ocular Lens?
The word “ocular” means something close to the eye. Meanwhile, a lens is a piece of transparent glass utilized in microscopes. Therefore, an ocular lens is essentially just a lens through which you can see.
Where Is The Ocular Lens On A Microscope?
The ocular lens is also known as the eyepiece lens because it is where the user places their eye when using a microscope. Interestingly, there are two ocular lenses involved in a microscope.
The first is found at the top of the optical tube. This is the aforementioned eyepiece.
Meanwhile, the second optical lens is placed at the base of this tube. This is referred to as the objective lens. These lenses are both involved in magnification.
How Many Ocular Lenses Are Found In A Microscope?
Microscopes should have just two ocular lenses, the aforementioned objective lens and the eyepiece. Each lens performs an important role in the use of the microscope.
On the other hand, some microscopes can have numerous objective lenses.
These lenses are each dedicated to a different level of magnification. These lenses are placed next to one another on the nosepiece.
This system is great for viewing items at different magnification levels.
Plus, the system is super convenient, with the lenses often being color coded. When this occurs, these microscopes tend to have three or four different lenses.
What Is The Point Of The Ocular Lenses?
In microscopes, these lenses help to magnify objects. This means that smaller objects appear larger.
This enables scientists to see incredibly small objects that are usually impossible for the naked eye to see.
For instance, if a biologist was to place a skin cell underneath a microscope, they would be able to see all of the cell’s components.
How Much Do Ocular Lenses Magnify?
Ocular lenses magnify objects, meaning that they make something small appear big.
When placed in a microscope, these ocular lenses have adjustable levels of magnification. This means that you can see objects at different levels of detail.
The range of this magnification will depend on the microscope, as some will be more powerful than others.
Most ocular lenses will be able to magnify by at least 10x. However, many have a magnification of 100x, allowing you to see objects in considerably more detail than before.
When the microscope is at 40x magnification, you can see 5mm. At this range, you can see some details, particularly in large cells.
However, a more powerful level of magnification is needed if you wish to see more.
For instance, at 100x magnification, you can view 2mm. This enables you to see bacteria. You can also spot more details within the cells, with some more minute details being more clear.
What Does An Ocular Lens Look Like?
These lenses are simply thin pieces of transparent glass. These lenses can come in various degrees of thickness. In terms of appearance, they are indistinguishable from other types of lenses.
Types Of Microscopes
There are a few different variations of a microscope. Though they have similar features, the unique designs are what separate them from one another. Here are some of the main types of microscopes:
This is the main type of microscope used. Optical microscopes have also been called light microscopes. This is because they use light and lenses (namely ocular lenses) to make small objects appear larger.
This type of microscope is less advanced than other varieties. It has been around for centuries.
It is widely considered to have been invented in the 17th century, though older magnifying devices existed before this.
Since then, optical microscopes have largely stayed the same. However, some features have been added to improve this form of microscope.
For instance, some have been fitted with objective turrets. This feature enables the user to alternate between lenses.
A digital microscope is more advanced than a standard microscope in that it features a digital camera.
This device does not require an eyepiece. Instead, the digital camera is placed at the head of the microscope. These digital microscopes were first created in 1986, originating in Japan.
One of the main advantages of this type of microscope is that you can examine images from a computer screen.
You can use computer software to record and analyze what you are seeing via the microscope.
The downside of this model is that some digital microscopes can cost thousands of dollars. This is particularly true if you opt for one of the more advanced versions.
A scanning probe microscope (SPM) is a device that allows the user to scan a surface on a nanoscale level. This probe was first invented in 1981.
What sets these microscopes apart from other varieties is that the scanning probe is the ability to obtain unique information about a surface. For instance, they can indicate height.
Also, the image resolution will not be hampered when using one of these devices, so you will still get a clear image of the subject.
Electron microscopes are powered by beams of electrons, which are particles with negative charges.
These microscopes greatly illuminate the source. Electron microscopes still rely on a system of optical lenses, though they are different from optical microscopes.
This variety of microscopes has been around since 1926, having first been devised by German physicist Hans Busch.
Which Type Of Microscope Should I Get?
With so many varieties on the market, it can be tough to choose a microscope. Luckily, there are a few factors that you can use to narrow down your options.
Here are some of the main elements that you should consider when picking a microscope:
- The Power: Powerful microscopes will allow the user to see more than weaker ones. You should think about the amount of detail that you wish to observe. If you want to see intimate parts of the cell, then you will require a microscope with high lens power. Part of this will also rely on what type of cells you are interested in sampling.
- The Price: Like all pieces of scientific equipment, microscopes can be quite expensive. Unless you are fully funded, you will need to find a microscope that is within your price range.
- The Number Of Eyepieces: Different products are either monocular, binocular, or trinocular. Monocular microscopes only have one eyepiece, while binocular and trinocular have two and three eyepieces respectively.
- Ease Of Use: Microscopes are constructed to be simple to use. If you have one that is hard to figure out, you can end up wasting precious time. To determine whether a microscope is easy to use, you should read the reviews of a product first.
Tips For Using A Microscope
When using a microscope, and specifically the lenses, you have to be careful. This is because you can negatively impact how well the microscope works. Luckily, we have some tips for you:
- Never touch the lenses. Fingers and hands contain oils, which will be transferred to the lens. As a consequence, your vision can be obstructed.
- Keep your microscope in a safe place when it is not being used. You should cover the device. This will prevent its lens from being obscured by dirt or debris.
- When moving the microscope, be incredibly careful. Preferably, you should hold the device with two hands. If the microscope hits the ground, it is likely to break. The lenses are especially sensitive.
- If any dust manages to make its way onto the lens, give it a thorough clean with a brush. You can even get lens tissues that are specifically designed for this purpose.
- It’s not the end of the world if you break a lens. They can easily be replaced, though the ease will differ depending on the brand. New lenses can easily be ordered online and you can even find them in specialist stores.
If you want to keep your microscope and its lenses in top condition, simply following these rules can go a long way.
What Is The Difference Between A Magnifying Glass And A Microscope?
Though these two devices use the same principles, microscopes are more complex than magnifying glasses. Magnifying glasses use just one lens to reflect light and enlarge objects.
In comparison, a microscope has at least two lenses, though they can also have considerably more.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are Microscope Lenses Made From?
Microscope lenses are usually made from optical glass. This material is a form of glass that is designed to be clearer than standard glass.
Consequently, these lenses provide an unrivaled level of clarity. Silicon dioxide is one of the most important materials used to make optical glass.
Some more affordable microscopes will cut costs by using cheaper transparent materials.
However, these lenses tend to be poorer in quality, resulting in them having reduced clarity and purity. Plus, they might break more easily.
Where Are The Objective Lenses?
The objective lens is located near the sample. This allows light to pass through the lenses, thus enabling the specimen to be magnified.
Light will come from the sample, which is then used by the rest of the microscope.
What Is A Convex Lens?
A convex lens is known for its unique shape. It is thicker in the middle than at the edges of the lens.
Convex lenses are also known as a type of converging lens. These lenses interestingly converge light. They can concentrate a beam of light traveling through the lens
Microscopes are truly incredible creations. Scientists have made numerous discoveries with them and they will continue to do so.
It is easy to forget that these complex devices are merely powered by lenses, which are just simple pieces of glass.
Yet, these lenses can illuminate a whole world that humanity would otherwise know nothing about!
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