Parts of the Microscope

Note: Be sure to review the history of the microscope and microscope safety procedures.  Links are provided at bottom of page.  For a printer friendly version, click here.

1. Ocular Lens (Eyepiece) - where you look through to see the image of your specimen.  Magnifies
    the specimen 10X actual size.


2. Body tube - the long tube that supports the eyepiece and connects it to the objectives.


3. Nosepiece - the rotating part of the microscope at the bottom of the body tube; it holds the



4. Objective Lenses - (low, medium, high).  Depending on the microscope, you  may have 2, 3 or

    more objectives attached to the nosepiece; they vary in length (the shortest is the lowest power

    or magnification; the longest is the highest power or magnification).


5. Arm - part of the microscope that you carry the microscope with; connects the head and base of

    the microscope.


6. Coarse Adjustment Knob - large, round knob on the side of the microscope used for "rough" focusing of the specimen; it may

    move either the stage or the upper part of the microscope.  Location may vary depending on microscope - it may be on the

    bottom of the arm or on the top.


7. Fine Adjustment Knob - small, round knob on the side of the microscope used to fine-tune the focus of your specimen after

    using the coarse adjustment knob.  As with the Coarse Adjustment Knob, location may vary depending on the microscope.

8. Stage - large, flat area under the objectives; it has a hole in it (see aperture) that allows light through; the specimen/slide is

    placed on the stage for viewing.


9. Stage Clips - clips on top of the stage which hold the slide in place.


10. Aperture - the hole in the stage that concentrates light through the specimen for better viewing.


11. Diaphragm - controls the amount of light going through the aperture; may be adjusted.


12. Light or Mirror - source of light usually found near the base of the microscope; used to direct light upward through the

      microscope.  The light source makes the specimen easier to see.

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