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Secondary I • 9mo.

Hello! I have a hard time using the microscope. Can you explain how to use it and give me some advice?

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Explanations (1)

  • Explanation from Alloprof

    Explanation from Alloprof

    This Explanation was submitted by a member of the Alloprof team.

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    Team Alloprof • 9mo.

    Thank you for your question!

    First, I think two general guidelines can help you:

    • Carefulness: always be careful with a microscope, since it contains several fragile parts such as the coverslips, the objectives and the micrometer screw .
    • Taking your time: rushing through microscope work is wasting time. For example, if the focus at a certain magnification isn’t perfect, it will be much more difficult to focus it correctly using the next objective.

    Next, here are the steps to prepare a slide:

    • Clean the slide with lens-cleaning paper. Remove any dust or dirt on the lense’s surface.
    • Place the sample of the slide on the center of the slide, preferably with tweezers, a pipette or a dropper (this makes for greater precision).
    • Place a drop of water or dye on the sample. Be careful not to touch the sample or the slide while doing this.
    • Take a coverslip and place it on the sample. It is especially important to prevent air bubbles from forming during this process, so I suggest that you gently press the coverslip vertically on the slide before laying it on the sample.
    • Blot up the excess liquid that sometimes leaks from the underside of the coverslip with lens-cleaning paper. The slide has now been prepared!

    Then, here are the steps to follow to use a microscope.

    • Plug the microscope. (Be careful, people often forget to complete this step).
    • Turn on the microscope by pressing the on/off switch.
    • Lower the stage as far as possible with the coarse adjustment. Proceed slowly so as to not thrust the objective too hard, in the event you turn in the wrong direction.
    • Position the objective with the lowest magnifying power (4X in most microscopes) above the stage.
    • Place the slide between the jacks. Make sure it is stable in this position.
    • Position the sample directly under the objective (in order to see it clearly) using the screws on the carriage. If the light passing through the stage is obstructed, this is probably a sign that the sample is well-positioned under the objective.
    • Clean the eyepiece with lens-cleaning paper.
    • Mount the stage with the coarse adjustment until the image is relatively clear (clearly visible) in the eyepiece. Once again, carefulness and slowness are required.
    • Adjust the focus with the micrometer screw until the image is very clear in the eyepiece.
    • If necessary, turn the revolver to change the objective. Refocus with the micrometric screw in this case.

    When you have finished studying the sample, lower the stage with the coarse adjustment. Remove the slide, turn off the light with the on/off switch, unplug the microscope, clean the eyepiece, clean the equipment and put the microscope away (remember to always hold the microscope by the stem and by the foot).

    Don’t hesitate to ask other questions!