Light Microscopy means using a special instrument called a microscope to magnify very tiny objects so we can see them more easily. Our eyes are good, but when things are very small, we need a magnifying glass to make things look bigger. A magnifying glass bends light, causing light rays reflected from an object to spread out over a wider area of our eye. A microscope
is like a magnifying glass but has two lenses and magnifies objects much larger than any ordinary magnifying glass.
A microscope is often called a compound microscope. Compound means 'in addition to'. So, in a microscope, as one lens is used in addition to another second lens it is known as a compound microscope.
There are also different types of compound light microscopes. Most people are familiar with a microscope which has a long tube with a single lens at the top and a selection of lenses at the bottom. A microscope with just a single lens at the top is called a monocular microscope 'one-eyed'. A microscope may also have two lenses at the top but still with a single lens at the bottom. This is a binocular
microscope and simply allows both eyes to be used instead of just one.
More interesting though, is a microscope with two lenses at the top and two at the bottom: a stereo microscope. The beauty of this type of microscope is that anything viewed with it appears in 3D, and it is an excellent tool for very young people to use.
Monocular Compound Light Microscope