General Microbiology

Microscope and Microscopy

Microscopy refers to method to observe/visualize the minute particles that are invisible to naked eyes. E.g. Bacteria, Viruses are the organisms that are not observed through our naked eyes. Visualization of them are only possible through Microscope. It is the process of microscopy that enables their visualization using microscope.

Microscopy is the technical field of using microscopes to view samples & objects that cannot be seen with the unaided eye. It is a simple, direct technique for examining the morphology of cells and their organelles.

microscope is an instrument that magnifies objects otherwise too small to be seen, producing an image in which the object appears larger. Most photographs of cells are taken using a microscope, and these pictures can also be called micrographs.

  • Microscope is an instrument, the magnification of which enables us to see microorganisms and their structures otherwise invisible to naked eyes.
  • The magnifications attained by microscopes ranges from 100x to 400,000x.



On the basis of number of lens, Microscope can be classified as:

  1. Simple microscope- Have only one lens. E.g.. Magnifying glass
  2. Compound microscope- Have multiple lens. E.g. Light Microscope, Electron microscope.


Because of the way these lenses are arranged, compound microscopes can bend light to produce a much more magnified image than that of a magnifying glass.

  • Magnificationis a measure of how much larger a microscope causes an object to appear. E.g. 500x magnification means 1 mm of an object is viewed as 500 mm magnified image under microscope.


  • Resolutionof a microscope is the smallest distance by which two points can be separated and still be distinguished as separate objects. The smaller the resolution, higher the resolving power of the microscope and the better the clarity and detail of the image.


If a microscope has high magnification but low resolution, bigger version of a blurry image is obtained under microscopic observation. Both magnification and resolving power plays an important role in microscopy of the specimens.