• Created by: Meeseeks
  • Created on: 05-10-17 11:46

Resolution and Magnification

Definition:  Resolution

  • The minimum distance between two objects where they can still be seen as two separate entities


  • The ability to distinguish two separate points
  • The resolution is normally measured in nm (nanometers)

Definition: Magnification

The number of times the image size of an object is enlarged by

1 micrometer = 1000nm

1mm = 1000 micrometres  

Definition:  Resolution

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Light Microscopes

Pros and cons of light microscopes:

Image result for light microscopePros:

  • Can be used on living cells 
  • Can observe cell division due to them being living
  • Inexpensive 
  • Small and portable
  • Simple sample prep


  • Staining can cause cell death
  • Lower resolution (200nm)
  • Lower magnification (x2000)
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Electron Microscopes

Electron Microscopy:


Image result for electron microscope

  • Over x5000,000 magnification
  • Better resolution (SEM=3-10nm) and (TEM 0.5nm)


  • Cannot view living specimens
  • Can lead to artefacts (false images) due to sample preparation
  • Requires careful prep and staining
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