Parts of Microscope with functions and labeled microscopes diagram

A microscope is an optical device that has one or more than one lens system that is used to get clear and magnified images of minute objects which can't be seen by our naked eyes.

The word Microscope is derived from two Greek words "mikrós" which means "small" and "skópéō" which means "look at".

Microscopes are constructed with special types of components that make them get high magnification levels. They help us to view different minute objects and structures and help to distinguish between them which cannot be seen by our naked eyes. For example, Cells of plants and animals, bacteria, viruses, etc. The objects which can be seen by microscopes only are known as "microscopic".

Microscopes can be classified into different types which are Simple Microscopes, Compound Microscopes, Electron Microscopes, Phase-Contract Microscopes, and Interference Microscopes.

The parts of microscopes can be studied into two groups which are optical parts, and structural parts. The optical parts contain lenses and light sources while the structural part contains the head, base, and arm. 

The list of Parts of Microscope are:

  1. Ocular lenses 
  2. Revolving nosepiece
  3. Objective lens
  4. Carrying handle
  5. Slide holder
  6. Stage
  7. Condenser aperture lever
  8. Condenser
  9. Coarse adjustment
  10. Fine adjustment
  11. Light
  12. Light intensity control

Parts of microscope with labeled diagram

Labeled Parts of  Microscope Diagram 

A typical Functioning microscope contains the following parts:

  • Ocular lenses 

Ocular lenses are the parts of a microscope that helps in magnifying the image which is produced by microscopes so that the image can be seen by the human naked eye. They are also known as 'eyepiece' as they are closest to our eyes.

  • Revolving nosepiece

Revolving nosepiece is also known as turret. It holds  two or more objective lenses and can be rotated to change the power of lenses easily.

  • Objective lens

There are usually 3 or 4 objective lenses in a microscope. Objective lenses consists of 4x, 10x, 40x, and 100x, of Powers. When coupled with a 10X (most common) eyepiece lens, we get total magnifications of 40X (4X times 10X), 100X , 400X and 1000X

The shortest lens consists of the lowest power while the longest lens consists of the greatest power.

  • Carrying handle

The Carrying handle, also known as the arm helps to support the tube and connects it to the base of microscope. It is also used along the base to carry the microscope.

  • Slide holder

Slide holder, also known as stage clips helps to hold the slides in place.

  • Stage

Stage is a flat platform in the microscope. It is used to place slides. Stage clips help to hold the slides in place.

  • Condenser aperture lever

The condenser aperture lever is a part of the microscope that controls the angle of the illuminating light cone and also the numerical aperture of the condenser.

  • Condenser

The condenser is a type of light system that helps to collect and focuses the light rays which are coming from the specimen being viewed. It renders more clearer and sharper images and is useful while working at a high magnification of 400x or more.

  • Coarse adjustment

Coarse adjustment is an adjustment that is used to focus the microscope. It is always used first and used with low power objective.

  • Fine adjustment

Fine adjustment is an adjustment that is used to focus the microscope. It is used with the high power objective to bring the specimen into better focus.

  • Light

Light, also known as Illuminator is a source of light used in a microscope. It is usually 110 volts and used is place of mirror.

  • Light intensity control

The light intensity control is a system in the microscope that controls the voltage that is supplied to the light bulb. It controls the brightness (intensity) of the light bulb.

  • Base

The base is the bottom part of the microscope which is used as a support.

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How to focus your Microscope? 

The proper ways to focus your Microscope are:
  1. Always start with the lowest power objective lens.
  2.  Crank the lens close to the specimen as possible without touching it while looking from the side
  3. Now, look through the eyepiece lens and focus upward only until the image becomes sharp, and repeat this process until you get your results.
  4. Always open your both eyes while looking through the microscope to prevent eye fatigue.
  5. Never let your eye, eyebrows or eyeglasses touch the ocular lens.

Frequently Asked Question 

What is the magnifying power of a compound microscope?

The magnifying power of a compound microscope is 100 when the image is formed at infinity.


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