How much resolution do I need for a microscope?

Larry Farrell farrlarr at isu.edu
Mon Jun 9 21:44:06 EST 2003

Harry wrote:

> This is a successive question about microscope question raised in previous
> post.
> How high is the magnification do I need to see the molecules and atoms?
> For example, a blood sample.
> I heard that slide is a lot of investment after the purchase of a
> microscope.  Can I find and borrow that from a local general public library?
> I am located in northern Virginia--Fairfax county, close to Washington DC.
> Thanks first.

Looking back of this, and the related thread on purchase of the microscope
itself, I want to strongly recommend that you look at the Edmund Scientific
catalog for microscopes as well as slides/slide sets.  I saw some microscopes in
there that will most certainly meet all of your needs, will cost you less than
$500 and carry a 5 year warranty as well.  I haven't seen their guide to
purchasing microscopes but it might be a good idea to get a copy of that before
making any decisions.  Overall, your description of possible uses does not
indicate to me a need for a research-grade microscope, costing $1,000 or more.

Note that I am not affiliated with Edmund Scientific in any way, it just appears
to me that they have stuff that will meet your need admirably.

Larry D. Farrell, Ph.D.
Professor of Microbiology
Idaho State University

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