Optical microscope used at the Wiki Science Competition 2017 in Thailand
Scientists use optical microscopes to examine growing cells
18th-century microscopes from the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris
Diagram of a simple microscope
Carl Zeiss binocular compound microscope, 1914
Diagram of a compound microscope
Electron microscope constructed by Ernst Ruska in 1933
A miniature USB microscope.
Fluorescence microscope with the filter cube turret above the objective lenses, coupled with a camera.
The oldest published image known to have been made with a microscope: bees by Francesco Stelluti, 1630
Types of microscopes illustrated by the principles of their beam paths
Basic optical transmission microscope elements (1990s)
Evolution of spatial resolution achieved with optical, transmission (TEM) and aberration-corrected electron microscopes (ACTEM).
Two Leica oil immersion microscope objective lenses: 100× (left) and 40× (right)
Unstained cells viewed by typical brightfield (left) compared to phase-contrast microscopy (right).
U.S. CBP Office of Field Operations agent checking the authenticity of a travel document at an international airport using a stereo microscope
Modern transmission electron microscope
A 40x magnification image of cells in a medical smear test taken through an optical microscope using a wet mount technique, placing the specimen on a glass slide and mixing with a salt solution
Transmission electron micrograph of a dividing cell undergoing cytokinesis
The diffraction limit set in stone on a monument for Ernst Abbe.
Leaf surface viewed by a scanning electron microscope.
3D dual color super resolution microscopy with Her2 and Her3 in breast cells, standard dyes: Alexa 488, Alexa 568 LIMON
First atomic force microscope
Stimulated emission depletion (STED) microscopy image of actin filaments within a cell.
Bright field illumination, sample contrast comes from absorbance of light in the sample.
Cross-polarized light illumination, sample contrast comes from rotation of polarized light through the sample.
Dark field illumination, sample contrast comes from light scattered by the sample.
Phase contrast illumination, sample contrast comes from interference of different path lengths of light through the sample.

The optical microscope, also referred to as a light microscope, is a type of microscope that commonly uses visible light and a system of lenses to generate magnified images of small objects.

- Optical microscope

The most common microscope (and the first to be invented) is the optical microscope, which uses lenses to refract visible light that passed through a thinly sectioned sample to produce an observable image.

- Microscope
Optical microscope used at the Wiki Science Competition 2017 in Thailand

4 related topics

Alpha

A modern transmission electron microscope

Electron microscope

A modern transmission electron microscope
Diagram of a transmission electron microscope
Electron microscope constructed by Ernst Ruska in 1933
Diagram illustrating the phenomena resulting from the interaction of highly energetic electrons with matter
Image of Bacillus subtilis taken with a 1960s electron microscope
An image of an ant in a scanning electron microscope
An insect coated in gold for viewing with a scanning electron microscope
JEOL transmission and scanning electron microscope made in the mid-1970s

An electron microscope is a microscope that uses a beam of accelerated electrons as a source of illumination.

As the wavelength of an electron can be up to 100,000 times shorter than that of visible light photons, electron microscopes have a higher resolving power than light microscopes and can reveal the structure of smaller objects.

A biconvex lens

Lens

Transmissive optical device which focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction.

Transmissive optical device which focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction.

A biconvex lens
Lenses can be used to focus light
Light being refracted by a spherical glass container full of water. Roger Bacon, 13th century
Lens for LSST, a planned sky surveying telescope
Types of lenses
The position of the focus of a spherical lens depends on the radii of curvature of the two facets.
A camera lens forms a real image of a distant object.
Virtual image formation using a positive lens as a magnifying glass.
Images of black letters in a thin convex lens of focal length f are shown in red. Selected rays are shown for letters E, I and K in blue, green and orange, respectively. Note that E (at 2f) has an equal-size, real and inverted image; I (at f) has its image at infinity; and K (at f/2) has a double-size, virtual and upright image.
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An aspheric biconvex lens.
Close-up view of a flat Fresnel lens.

The practical development and experimentation with lenses led to the invention of the compound optical microscope around 1595, and the refracting telescope in 1608, both of which appeared in the spectacle-making centres in the Netherlands.

Other uses are in imaging systems such as monoculars, binoculars, telescopes, microscopes, cameras and projectors.

Portrait of Drebbel, c. 1631

Cornelis Drebbel

Dutch engineer and inventor.

Dutch engineer and inventor.

Portrait of Drebbel, c. 1631
"Perpetuum mobile" clock by Drebbel
First navigable submarine
Reconstruction of the Drebbel, Richmond upon Thames. In 2002, the British boatbuilder Mark Edwards built a wooden submarine based on the original version by Drebbel. It was shown in the BBC TV programme Building the Impossible in 2002.

One of the optical devices some historians believe Drebbel invented when he was working for the Duke of Buckingham was the compound microscope.

In 1621 Drebbel had a compound microscope with two convex lenses.

3D dual colour super resolution microscopy with Her2 and Her3 in breast cancer cells, standard dyes: Alexa 488, Alexa 568 - LIMON (SPDM +SMI

Vertico spatially modulated illumination

3D dual colour super resolution microscopy with Her2 and Her3 in breast cancer cells, standard dyes: Alexa 488, Alexa 568 - LIMON (SPDM +SMI
SMI + TIRF of human eye tissue affected by macular degeneration
Single YFP molecule super resolution microscopy / SPDMphymod
Dual color localization microscopy SPDMphymod/super resolution microscopy with GFP & RFP fusion proteins

Vertico spatially modulated illumination (Vertico-SMI) is the fastest light microscope for the 3D analysis of complete cells in the nanometer range.

These are processes which modify the point spread function (PSF) of a microscope in a suitable manner to either increase the optical resolution, to maximize the precision of distance measurements of fluorescent objects that are small relative to the wavelength of the illuminating light, or to extract other structural parameters in the nanometer range.