Video: Light microscopy

Find out more about the process of capturing images with a light microscope

The light microscope is a common and widely used tool that has been used to look at biological samples for many years and is still very much in use today. The microscope creates the image by focusing light before passing it through the specimen and onto an objective lens, which magnifies the sample and can be viewed through an eyepiece or captured by a digital camera mounted on the microscope.

Designs have come a long way, from the first simple microscopes of the 17th century, just three to four inches long, to the large-scale machines in use today. The development of sample preparation methods has enhanced the light microscope’s importance.

This video was produced for the 2009 Wellcome Image Awards

Running time 7 mins 29 secs

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About this resource

This resource was first published in ‘The Cell’ in February 2011 and reviewed and updated in September 2015.

Cell biology
The Cell
Education levels:
16–19, Continuing professional development