Understanding the microscope

By Jeremy Sanderson

Introduction to the series

This series of 12 articles was written between 1997 and 2002 for the Bulletin of the Quekett Microscopical Club and new members, with the aim of being a self-contained introduction to light microscopy. They are by no means intended to be fully comprehensive. Since these articles are already published, there are only made minimal alterations to the content.

The topics are:-

  1. The mechanics of the stand, basic care of the microscope
  2. Elementary optical principles – image formation
  3. Methods of illumination. Köhler illumination for transmitted light and incident light
  4. The objective I – types, aberrations
  5. The eyepiece – different types. Measurement in the microscope
  6. The condenser – different types. Contrast in the microscope
  7. The objective II – tube length, apertometry
  8. The stereomicroscope
  9. Image recording – an outline: drawing, cameras, exposure
  10. Digital imaging
  11. Cleaning microscope lenses
  12. Buying an instrument: lens testing, evaluating stands and accessories

© Jeremy Sanderson, Oxford, 2010

The following papers supplement the information in Part 6 and were written for the Quekett Journal of Microscopy:

© Jeremy Sanderson, Oxford, 2000, 2002

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