Understanding haploid and diploid cells
During any type of cell division, the number chromosomes determine whether it is either haploid or diploid. For all intent and purpose, all somatic cells are diploid and only gametes are haploid. This means that they only contain one strand of a chromosome. in a sperm cell there is only the one chromosome. whereas in a muscle cell there are 2. There are other cells that are polyploid, meaning they have more than 2 copies of the same chromosome.
Meiosis walkthrough (1)
Meisosis is smiliar to mitosis. the only difference is the fact that each chromosome pair does not line up in a single straight line as they do in mitosis. but each pair lines up in its homologous pairs.
X X X
X X X
X X X
Meiosis walkthrough (2)
This means that the spindles separate the cells into 2 cells each with 1 set of chromosomes in the first stage called meiosis 1.
They then split up again being pulled apart again in the stage called meiosis 2 where the haploid cells are actually created
(X X) --> (X) + (X)
(X) + (X) --> (l) + (l) + (l) + (l)
NB: the first cell containing 2 chromosomes is formed after 1 stage of mitosis.