Using a compound microscope

The microscope is perhaps one of the most fundamentally important pieces of equipment that you will use in the laboratory environment. The compound microscope allows us to visualize objects that are too small to see with the eye. Using a microscope correctly is a fundamental requirement in any laboratory environment, where sections or microscopic particles have to be examined. This exercise concentrates on the correct use of a compound microscope, as this is the more difficult to use correctly, than is a dissecting microscope.

There are a number of issues related to the use of a compound microscope, that most students will be either unaware of, or will tend to ignore completely either through their own lack of understanding, or perhaps, the instructor feels that the student does not have to go through certain setup procedures. Not learning to use a microscope properly, may lead to a great deal of frustration and subsequent disinterest in microscopy and what we can see and learn from this discipline.