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Types of Microscopes
Microscopes Rule!!!!!!!!!!
There are four basic kinds
of microscopes:
Optical (or light)
Scanning Probe
• Optical microscopes are the
kind we use in school.
• They use lenses to refract the
light rays that either shine
through or reflect off of the
specimen being observed.
Optical continued:
• Scientists can use special optical telescopes to study details
that are not normally visible.
• Phase Contrast Microscopes. You study transparent
objects with these. This microscope changes how light
passes through objects so that thick parts appear one color
and thin parts appear a different color.
• Dark Field Microscopes. This kind keeps light from
shining directly up the body tube. The specimen appears
bright against a black background.
• Scanning Optical Microscopes. These use a laser beam
that scans back and forth over the object. A computer
creates the image which is seen on a monitor.
• An electron microscope uses a beam of
electrons instead of a beam of light.
Because electrons are so tiny , these
microscopes show much finer detail than
optical telescopes. You will learn more
about these microscopes at the next station.
• A scanning probe microscope scans a
specimen with a sharp point called a probe.
• The probe does not quite touch the
• An electric current flows between the probe
and the specimen.
• A computer uses measurements of the
current to create an image.
• Ion microscopes are used to examine metals.
• An ion microscope magnifies with such
sharpness that individual atoms may be seen.
• The metal to be examined is made into a tiny
• This microscope works on the principle of
electrical attraction and repulsion.
Although there are different
kinds of microscopes,
they are all used for the same
To make something look