light and Electron microscopes

Advantages and disadvantages

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Light microscope


  • Relatively cheap to buy
  • cheap to run using little electricity
  • preparing specimens relatively simple
  • living and dead tissue may be observed
  • colour images are obtained


  • Resolution limited by the wavelength of light
  • Depth of field is restricted
  • limited magnification
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Electron microscope


  • high resolution
  • greater depth of field may be observed
  • high magnifications


  • Expensive to buy
  • expensive to run when creating an electron beam
  • preparing specimens is a complex procedure
  • living specimens cannot be observed
  • images are black and white
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