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Observing in Biology Index

Observing very small specimens and Calculating the
magnification on a compound microscope

Making a slide with a coverslip and looking at the slide
using the microscope

Question on the use of the Microscope

Biology Practical Work index

 

Picking up small specimens

If they are solid use forceps, do not use your fingers.

Using forceps to pick up a small specimen

If they are in water use a dropping pipette.

Using a dropping pipette

Observing Small Specimens

First of all make sure that you have enough light. Use a bench lamp.

A bench lamp

Using a hand lens

This magnifies about ten times;
we write X 10.

Using a hand lens

Keep the lens close to your eye (about 8 cm). Bring the specimen that you are observing up to the lens or bend down to look at the specimen.

 

WORKING IN THE LABORATORY

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Observing in Biology

Many of the interesting things in biology are very small and delicate. Our eyes need help to be able to see them properly. Our fingers are too big so we need tools to handle them carefully.

 

Using a binocular microscope

The binocular microscope usually magnifies by x20. We use both eyes which gives us a clear three-dimensional view.

To use the binocular microscope follow the instructions:

Choosing the background for the binocular microscope (drawing by Paul Billiet) 

First choose the background that you want to use. A dark specimen is more easily observed against a white background and a pale specimen is more easily observed against a black background.

 

A binocular microscope and bench lamp 

 

Put your specimen under the microscope and illuminate it with a bench lamp. Raise the microscope until you can see the specimen approximately in focus. Now lock the microscope in place. Finally focus precisely, using the focusing knob.

The binocular microscope (drawing by Paul Billiet) 

You may also find that the eye-pieces of your binocular microscope are too far apart or too close together. These can be moved to suit your eyes.

 

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