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Portable Handheld Microscope

By Javed Khan Subscribe to RSS | December 15th 2011 | Views:

Hand Held Microscopes are used for viewing objects that are too tiny for the naked eyes. They are made by magnifying glasses which are educational and fun to use. The word ‘microscope’ is derived from the two Greek words, mikros, which means ‘small’ and skopein, which means ‘to look’ or ‘see’. The early ‘occhiolino’ – ‘little eye’, as Galileo Galilei called it, was made back in 1590 in a Dutch city known s Middlelburg. Two men, both eyeglass makers, have been credited with making that early microscope; Hans Lippershey and Hans Janssen. But it’s the 1960s that saw the usage of the microscope more extensively in research, start with Italy followed by Holland then England. The use of microscopes runs through different fields, but they are mostly used in microscopy, which is the science of studying microscopic objects, mostly in government and school laboratories.

There are several kinds of microscopes, the most common being the optical microscopes, the first to be invented, which uses light to image the object under study. The optical microscope comes in two categories, the big stand alone microscopes which are mostly used in science laboratories, and the hand held microscope which is pocket size and can be carried around. The hand held microscopes, also referred to as portable microscopes, are mostly optical but lately there are digital ones equipped with digital cameras and are designed to use charged batteries which if fully charged can last for days without fail.

The hand held microscopes though referred as miniatures have several benefits, among them include; they compact, portable, occupy small space, come with trivet stand whose legs are removable and adjustable, detachable base plate, at least one lighting source, the objective lens is compatible and a digital camera. They also take snapshots which can be uploaded to a computer through their USB port, all of which enhances their performance and increases their usage.

The invention of such a mini high meticulousness portable microscope, which are self contained has increased awareness and the usage of microscopes, since now scientists can carry them to the field and work on objects, make their recommendations and write their reports without having to report to the laboratories. They are very applicable especially in the military field and are low priced ranging from $10 to $65, so many people can access and benefit from them. More school kids own and know how to operate microscopes unlike the old days when one would only come in contact with a hand held microscope when he/she goes to college.

However, the mini microscopes comes with some drawbacks, some of the hand held microscopes have narrow magnification and resolution, mostly use plastic optics and are not applicable in huge studies, with large objects which cannot be sliced thinly. These drawbacks have made them to be overlooked in the main field of research, the scientists seeing them as stylish objects rather than professional tools and are mostly used by young researchers who are just gaining interest in science. The research community only hopes that the future generations of these mini hand held microscopes come with enhanced features to increase the efficiency of their usage.

Javed Khan - About Author:
Author writing about Pocket Microscope. More information about Pocket Microscope, Stereoscopic Microscope and Hand Held Microscopes, please visit their website:

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