Microscope

Optical microscope used at the Wiki Science Competition 2017 in Thailand
18th-century microscopes from the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Paris
Carl Zeiss binocular compound microscope, 1914
Electron microscope constructed by Ernst Ruska in 1933
Fluorescence microscope with the filter cube turret above the objective lenses, coupled with a camera.
Types of microscopes illustrated by the principles of their beam paths
Evolution of spatial resolution achieved with optical, transmission (TEM) and aberration-corrected electron microscopes (ACTEM).
Unstained cells viewed by typical brightfield (left) compared to phase-contrast microscopy (right).
Modern transmission electron microscope
Transmission electron micrograph of a dividing cell undergoing cytokinesis
Leaf surface viewed by a scanning electron microscope.
First atomic force microscope

Laboratory instrument used to examine objects that are too small to be seen by the naked eye.

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

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Scanning electron microscope image of pollen

Microscopy

Scanning electron microscope image of pollen
Microscopic examination in a biochemical laboratory
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723)
Stereo microscope
A diatom under Rheinberg illumination
Phase-contrast light micrograph of undecalcified hyaline cartilage showing chondrocytes and organelles, lacunae and extracellular matrix
Images may also contain artifacts. This is a confocal laser scanning fluorescence micrograph of thale cress anther (part of stamen). The picture shows among other things a nice red flowing collar-like structure just below the anther. However, an intact thale cress stamen does not have such collar, this is a fixation artifact: the stamen has been cut below the picture frame, and epidermis (upper layer of cells) of stamen stalk has peeled off, forming a non-characteristic structure. Photo: Heiti Paves from Tallinn University of Technology.
Mathematically modeled Point Spread Function of a pulsed THz laser imaging system.
Example of super-resolution microscopy. Image of Her3 and Her2, target of the breast cancer drug Trastuzumab, within a cancer cell.
Human cells imaged by DHM phase shift (left) and phase contrast microscopy (right)
Photoacoustic micrograph of human red blood cells.
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
"house bee" Mouth 100X
Rice Stem cs 400X
Rabbit Testis 100X
Fern Prothallium 400X

Microscopy is the technical field of using microscopes to view objects and areas of objects that cannot be seen with the naked eye (objects that are not within the resolution range of the normal eye).

A stained histologic specimen, sandwiched between a glass microscope slide.

Staining

A stained histologic specimen, sandwiched between a glass microscope slide.
Example of negative staining
Microscopic view of a histologic specimen of human lung tissue stained with hematoxylin and eosin.
PAS diastase showing the fungus Histoplasma.
Gömöri methenamine silver stain demonstrating histoplasma (illustrated in black).
Carmine staining of a parasitic flatworm.

Staining is a technique used to enhance contrast in samples, generally at the microscopic level.

Several objective lenses on a microscope.

Objective (optics)

Optical element that gathers light from the object being observed and focuses the light rays to produce a real image.

Optical element that gathers light from the object being observed and focuses the light rays to produce a real image.

Several objective lenses on a microscope.
Objective lenses of binoculars
Two Leica oil immersion microscope objective lenses; left 100×, right 40×.
Camera photographic objective, focal length 50 mm, aperture 1:1.4
The segmented hexagonal objective mirror of the Keck 2 Telescope

They are used in microscopes, binoculars, telescopes, cameras, slide projectors, CD players and many other optical instruments.

Scanning electron micrograph of human red blood cells (ca. 6–8 μm in diameter)

Red blood cell

Red blood cells (RBCs), also referred to as red cells, red blood corpuscles (in humans or other animals not having nucleus in red blood cells), haematids, erythroid cells or erythrocytes (from Greek erythros for "red" and kytos for "hollow vessel", with -cyte translated as "cell" in modern usage), are the most common type of blood cell and the vertebrate's principal means of delivering oxygen (O2) to the body tissues—via blood flow through the circulatory system.

Red blood cells (RBCs), also referred to as red cells, red blood corpuscles (in humans or other animals not having nucleus in red blood cells), haematids, erythroid cells or erythrocytes (from Greek erythros for "red" and kytos for "hollow vessel", with -cyte translated as "cell" in modern usage), are the most common type of blood cell and the vertebrate's principal means of delivering oxygen (O2) to the body tissues—via blood flow through the circulatory system.

Scanning electron micrograph of human red blood cells (ca. 6–8 μm in diameter)
There is an immense size variation in vertebrate red blood cells, as well as a correlation between cell and nucleus size. Mammalian red blood cells, which do not contain nuclei, are considerably smaller than those of most other vertebrates.
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Typical mammalian red blood cells: (a) seen from surface; (b) in profile, forming rouleaux; (c) rendered spherical by water; (d) rendered crenate (shrunken and spiky) by salt. (c) and (d) do not normally occur in the body. The last two shapes are due to water being transported into, and out of, the cells, by osmosis.
Scanning electron micrograph of blood cells. From left to right: human red blood cell, thrombocyte (platelet), leukocyte.
Two drops of blood are shown with a bright red oxygenated drop on the left and a deoxygenated drop on the right.
Animation of a typical human red blood cell cycle in the circulatory system. This animation occurs at a faster rate (~20 seconds of the average 60-second cycle) and shows the red blood cell deforming as it enters capillaries, as well as the bars changing color as the cell alternates in states of oxygenation along the circulatory system.
The most common red blood cell membrane lipids, schematically disposed as they are distributed on the bilayer. Relative abundances are not at scale.
Red blood cell membrane proteins separated by SDS-PAGE and silverstained
Red blood cell membrane major proteins
Affected by Sickle-cell disease, red blood cells alter shape and threaten to damage internal organs.
Effect of osmotic pressure on blood cells
Micrographs of the effects of osmotic pressure
Variations of red blood cell shape, overall termed poikilocytosis.

The first person to describe red blood cells was the young Dutch biologist Jan Swammerdam, who had used an early microscope in 1658 to study the blood of a frog.

Ernst Ruska

German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986 for his work in electron optics, including the design of the first electron microscope.

German physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1986 for his work in electron optics, including the design of the first electron microscope.

Electron microscope constructed by Ernst Ruska in 1933

He was educated at the Technical University of Munich from 1925 to 1927 and then entered the Technical University of Berlin, where he posited that microscopes using electrons, with wavelengths 1000 times shorter than those of light, could provide a more detailed picture of an object than a microscope utilizing light, in which magnification is limited by the size of the wavelengths.

A 19th-century fantasy portrait, based on the face of Hartman Hartmanzoon from Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. No genuine portrait is known.

Jan Swammerdam

Dutch biologist and microscopist.

Dutch biologist and microscopist.

A 19th-century fantasy portrait, based on the face of Hartman Hartmanzoon from Rembrandt's The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp. No genuine portrait is known.
Illustration of a Mosquito from Historia
Miraculum naturae sive uteri muliebris fabrica
Bybel der Natuure, 1693
Swammerdam's drawing of the queen bee's reproductive organs, as observed through the microscope.
Swammerdam's illustration of a nerve-muscle preparation. He placed a frog thigh muscle in a glass syringe with a nerve protruding from a hole in the side of the container. Irritating the nerve caused the muscle to contract, but the level of the water, and thus the volume of the muscle, did not increase.

He was one of the first people to use the microscope in dissections, and his techniques remained useful for hundreds of years.

Text seen through a magnifying glass

Magnifying glass

Convex lens that is used to produce a magnified image of an object.

Convex lens that is used to produce a magnified image of an object.

Text seen through a magnifying glass
Jim Hutton as detective Ellery Queen, posing with a magnifying glass
A plastic Fresnel lens sold as a TV-screen magnifier
Diagram of a single lens magnifying glass
Magnifying glass on an arm lamp
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For more convenient use or for magnification beyond about 30×, one must instead use a microscope.

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.

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

Federico Cesi

Accademia dei Lincei

One of the oldest and most prestigious European scientific institutions, located at the Palazzo Corsini on the Via della Lungara in Rome, Italy.

One of the oldest and most prestigious European scientific institutions, located at the Palazzo Corsini on the Via della Lungara in Rome, Italy.

Federico Cesi

The Linceans produced an important collection of micrographs or drawings made with the help of the newly invented microscope.

Memorial to Ernst Karl Abbe, who approximated the diffraction limit of a microscope as, where d is the resolvable feature size, λ is the wavelength of light, n is the index of refraction of the medium being imaged in, and θ (depicted as α in the inscription) is the half-angle subtended by the optical objective lens (representing the numerical aperture).

Diffraction-limited system

Memorial to Ernst Karl Abbe, who approximated the diffraction limit of a microscope as, where d is the resolvable feature size, λ is the wavelength of light, n is the index of refraction of the medium being imaged in, and θ (depicted as α in the inscription) is the half-angle subtended by the optical objective lens (representing the numerical aperture).
Log-log plot of aperture diameter vs angular resolution at the diffraction limit for various light wavelengths compared with various astronomical instruments. For example, the blue star shows that the Hubble Space Telescope is almost diffraction-limited in the visible spectrum at 0.1 arcsecs, whereas the red circle shows that the human eye should have a resolving power of 20 arcsecs in theory, though normally only 60 arcsecs.

The resolution of an optical imaging system – a microscope, telescope, or camera – can be limited by factors such as imperfections in the lenses or misalignment.