Review of The Basic Handling of a Compound Light Microscope.


Remember, a microscope is an expensive, complex machine with many moving parts. You need to take care when setting it up with your slides and treat it gently.

Lab 5 Exercises 5.1

There is a compound microscope for each student.

  1. Obtain one of the slides you will need to day for one of the Lab exercises that follow this one.
  1. Perform the following checklist of activities, checking each one off as you carry it out. Stop when you have your specimen in focus with the second objective (usually the 40x objective, with most of the lab microscopes.)

Checklist for setting up a microscope and beginning with a new slide.

1. Plug in the microscope & turn on light source. check-box
2. Pick up microscope by carrying arm, position it so it is accessible to your seat, with open side of the stage facing you check-box
3. Rotate the objectives so that the lowest power objective (smallest in size) clicks into place. check-box
4. Look at the slide with your naked eye and find the location of the specimen. check-box
5. Clip the slide into place with the stage clips. The cover slip on the slide must face up. Find the stage controls and make sure that, when they are turned, the slide moves smoothly left and right or up and down, depending on the knob. check-box
6. Use the stage controls to move the slide so that the light source is shining directly on to the specimen to be magnified. check-box
7. Find the coarse and fine focus knobs. Watching the stage and objective, use the coarse focus knob to bring the low power objective as close to the slide as it will go. check-box
8. Put your eye to the eyepiece (or eyepieces, if the microscope is binocular) and rotate the coarse focus knob in the lowering direction until some aspect of the specimen comes into focus. check-box
9. Move your hand to the fine focus knob and get the specimen into perfect focus for your eyes. Do NOT touch the coarse focus knob again. check-box
10. Use the stage control knobs to move you specimen to close to the exact center of your field of view. check-box
11. Move to the next highest power objective (do not skip the individual objectives) and use only the fine focus to get your image into perfect focus for your eyes. check-box
12. If you need further magnification, move to the next highest power objective and use only the fine focus to get your image into perfect focus for your eyes. check-box
13. Do not use the 100x objective (if you have one) in this course. It must be used with immersion oil and we won’t have students doing that.