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How To Use a Microscope

Take a look at a minuscule world through the eyes of a microscope.


  • TIP: Change the intensity of the light with the iris diaphragm when needed.
  • Step 1: Switch to the stronger objectives. Use only the fine focusing knob, and be careful -- the stronger lenses are closer to the slides. Observe your specimen.
  • Step 2: Change down to the low-powered objective, and move the turret out of the way of the stage before removing the slide.
  • FACT: The first microscopes were invented by in 1590 by Dutch brothers Zacharias and Francis Janssen.
  • Step 3: Turn the low-powered objective in place. Use the larger, coarse focusing knob only on this object. Using the xy controls, center the part of specimen you want to see.
  • Step 4: Adjust the oculars to your face by moving them in and out. Keep your eyes 3/4 of an inch from the oculars.
  • TIP: If the microscope doesn't have an electric light, adjust the mirror to reflect light toward the lens.
  • Step 5: Secure the slide to the stage with the clips and center the specimen over the light using the xy controls. Rotate the low power objective into place.
  • TIP: Use lens paper, not a paper towel, to clean fingerprints from the slide.
  • Step 6: Plug in the microscope if its light is electric, and prepare it for use by rotating the lens turret so that the objectives, or lenses, are not in the way of the stage. Set the oculars, or eyepieces, at 64 so that they are even, and turn the microscope light on.

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