how to determine the magnification of a microscope

How to Calculate Magnification of a Microscope

If you have ever been in a biology lab, then you have probably used a microscope to view slides. Microscopes help us magnify tiny objects so that you can view them more easily. This is important when you want to view an object on the cellular level. They come equipped with adjustable settings so that you can view the slides at different powers.

By AlysonNolan

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If you have ever been in a biology lab, then you have probably used a microscope to view slides. Microscopes help us magnify tiny objects so that you can view them more easily. This is important when you want to view an object on the cellular level. They come equipped with adjustable settings so that you can view the slides at different powers.

Dials on the side of the microscope adjust the magnification level.
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Step 1

Locate the power of the eye piece, which is usually 10X. It is typically written on the top of the microscope on the eyepiece.
Step 2

Determine the power of the objective that you are using to examine the slide. Typically viewing powers are 4X, 10X and 40X.
Step 3

Multiply the viewing power of the eye piece by the power of the objective used to examine the slide. For example, if the viewing power is 10X and you use the power of the objective at 10X, then the magnification is 100X.

How To Calculate Total Magnification

This article describes how to calculate the effective magnification and the size of your sample on your monitor when using a digital camera on a microscope.
Magnification on the TV
Monitor

In order to determine the total
magnification on the TV monitor, the following variables must be known:

Objective magnification
CCD chip diagonal dimension
TV monitor diagonal dimension

The formula used to calculate total magnification on the TV monitor is:

Total Magnification = Objective Magnification x Microscope Adapter Magnification x Video Magnification

The video magnification is determined by dividing the TV monitor diagonal (mm) by the CCD chip diagonal (mm). A reference chart is given below which shows video magnification for various monitor and chip sizes. To determine “Video Magnification” on a computer monitor divide the actual
image diagonal (as measured on the screen) by the CCD chip diagonal.

diagonal.

9″ 12″ 13″ 19″ 20″ 27″
1/3″ 38.1x 50.8x 55.0x 80.4x 84.7x 114.3x
1/2″ 28.6x 38.1x 41.3x 60.3x 63.5x 85.7x
2/3″ 20.8x 27.7x 30.0x 43.9x 46.2x 62.3x
1.0″ 14.3x 19.1x 20.6x 30.2x 31.8x 42.9x

What is the magnification on the TV monitor when using a 10X objective, 0.45x video coupler, a 1/2″ format CCD and a 19″ monitor?

Determining the Size of Your Specimen

The approximate real size of a specimen can be determined by dividing the length of the specimen measured on the monitor screen by the total magnification on the monitor.

In the above example, if the measured length of a specimen was 100 mm, the
real size of the specimen would be:

Real
Size of Specimen
= 100 mm
/ 271.35
= 0.37 mm
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