What Are the Procedures to Properly Handle a Light Microscope?

Light microscopes are the most commonly used microscopes in schools.
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While light microscopes are inexpensive compared to electron microscopes, they can be very costly for a school. The light microscope can increase the detail of objects by 1,000, which is helpful for biology classes studying microorganisms. Taking care of the microscope can make sure it survives for decades, saving the school much money.


Everything on the light microscope is very expensive, so students should be careful when using any part of the light microscope. When carrying the light microscope, handlers must put one hand on the base at all times, to avoid dropping it, while the other hand should be on the arm. The microscope must never be carried upside down, since the ocular will fall out. It should never be swung when it is carried, according to Miami University.


The light microscope should be unplugged after use and should be covered. Keep the light off when not in use, since the bulbs have a limited lifespan and are expensive to replace. Since some people may choose to steal and sell the compound microscope, they should be locked in a secure location when not in use. The cord should be wrapped securely around the microscope so it is not caught by anything.

Lens Care

The optical lens is very sensitive and can be scratched by most forms of paper, so operators should only use lens paper when cleaning the lens. Also, the cleaner must never use any liquid on the lens, according to Bates College. When zooming in on the specimen, the student must adjust the objective lens. Adjusting it causes it to move closer to the specimen, so adjusting it too fast can cause it to ram into the slide, which can break both the slide and lens. The slides and cover slips are made of glass, so they will cut people when broken. Any glass slides that look cracked should be disposed of immediately.

Cord Safety

The microscope cord can be caught by the feet of someone, pulling the microscope onto the floor, where it can break. Therefore, the users should be aware of the cord's location at all times. Users should pull the cord by the plug when pulling it out of the outlet, instead of pulling by the cord, which can damage it.

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