Microscope Parts
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Parts of the Microscope

    In order to operate a microscope properly and effectively, it is necessary to have an understanding of some of the various parts of the microscope and their functions.  We have two kinds of compound light microscopes at STCC for students to use-- binocular and monocular microscopes.  They are shown in Figures 1 and 2 (see bottom of page), and their parts are labeled.  You will need to figure out the different parts of the microscope you purchased.  Use the video and the table below to help you do that.   Your microscope has all the parts listed in this table.

Microscope Part Function
Arm Supports the body tube and lenses.  Use the arm to carry your microscope.
Base Supports the entire microscope.  Broad and heavy, the base gives the instrument stability.
Ocular The lens in the upper part of the microscope.  Monocular microscopes have one ocular, while binocular microscopes have two oculars.
Body Tube Holds the ocular at one end and the nosepiece at the other.  A prism housed in the body tube helps to reflect light towards the eye.
Revolving Nose Piece Located at the lower end of the body tube.  A revolving device that holds the objectives.
Objective Lenses Located on the revolving nosepiece.  There are typically three objective lenses on a toy microscope.  Only one objective may be used at a time.  The selected lens is rotated  into position by turning the nosepiece.
Stage The horizontal platform upon which the slide rests.
Substage Condenser Lens found beneath the stage that concentrates light before it passes through the specimen to be viewed.  Typically has to be turned to activate the light on a toy microscope.
Light Provides illumination of the specimen.  Typically located within the condenser region of a toy microscope.
Focus Adjustment Knob Located on either side of the arm.  Moves the stage (or body tube) up or down to the correct distance from the objective for viewing.  Your scopes will have just one kind of focus knob (on each side of the microscope)... the ones we have at STCC have both coarse and fine focus knobs.

 

Click here to see Figure 1, of a monocular, compound, light microscope.

Click here to see Figure 2, of a binocular, compound, light microscope.

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2006 STCC Foundation Press, content by Dawn A. Tamarkin, Ph.D.

Last changed: January 21, 2007