What Are Light Microscopes’ Drawbacks?

Limitations in resolution, lesser magnification, and a worse surface view of the specimen are all drawbacks of light microscopes. When using a compound light microscope, the user must become accustomed to optical inversion, which causes the specimen to appear to be moved in the other direction.

The level of resolution a light microscope can reach is constrained by visible light. In contrast to electron microscopes, which have magnifications of 160,000x or higher, the range of possible magnifications is just 500x to 1500x.

Generally speaking, for optimal viewing under light microscopes, specimens must be thin, tiny, and translucent. When the electron microscope was developed in the 1930s, scientists had more latitude to examine intricate features of cellular structure.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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