Microscopes have been used by scientists for centuries, and are now more widely relied upon than ever. Optical microscopes are the most common type of microscope found in a standard laboratory. They use optical lenses in order to magnify the image generated by the passage of a wave through the sample or reflected by the sample.

The typical magnification that can be achieved by a standard optical microscope in the visible light range is up to 1500x, with a resolution limit of around 0.2 μm. Resolution is limited by the wavelength of the radiation used. The spatial resolution of an optical microscope can be improved by using shorter wavelengths of light, including ultraviolet radiation.

Upright Microscopes

Modern microscopes are available in two basic frame types: the upright and the inverted, with the upright microscope being the most common type. An upright microscope has the illumination system below the stage and the lens system above the stage.

Benchtop microscopes are the work horses of laboratory microscopes. They have an enormous range of applications in biomedicine, metallurgy and industrial sciences.

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Inverted Microscopes

Modern microscopes are available in two basic frame types: the upright and the inverted.

An inverted microscope has the illumination system above the stage and the lens system below the stage. Inverted microscopes are suitable for looking through thick specimens, such as dishes of cultured cells, because the lenses can approach closer to the bottom of the dish where the cells grow.

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