Chemical Safety

♦ Always wear appropriate protective equipment. Always wear eye goggles, gloves, and a lab apron or lab coat when working with any chemicals or chemical solutions.

♦ Do not taste, touch, or smell any substance or bring it close to your eyes, unless specifically instructed to do so by your teacher. If your teacher directs you to note the odor of a substance, do so by waving the fumes toward you with your hand. Do not pipette any substance by mouth; use a suction bulb as directed by your teacher.

♦ Always handle chemicals and solutions with care. Check the labels on bottles, and observe safety procedures. Do not return unused chemicals or solutions to their original containers. Return unused reagent bottles or containers to your teacher.

♦ Do not mix any chemicals unless specifically instructed to do so by your teacher. Two harmless chemicals can be poisonous if combined.

♦ Do not pour water into a strong acid or strong base. The mixture can produce heat and splatter.

♦ Report any spill immediately to your teacher. Do not clean up spills yourself unless your teacher instructs you otherwise.



Microscopes are tools that extend human vision by making enlarged images of objects. Scientists use microscopes to see very small objects, such as microorganisms, cells and even cell parts. Microscopes help scientists reveal details that might otherwise be difficult, or even impossible to see.

Parts of the Compound Light Microscope

The eyepiece magnifies the image, usually 10x.

The low-power objective further magnifies the image, up to 4x.

The high-power objectives further magnify the image, from 10 x to 43 x.

The nosepiece holds the objectives and can be turned to change from one objective to another.

The body tube maintains the correct distance between the eyepiece and the objectives. This dis tance is usually about 25 cm (10 in.), the normal distance for reading and viewing objects with the naked eye.

The coarse adjustment moves the body tube up and down in large increments to allow gross positioning and focusing of the objective lens.

The fine adjustment moves the body tube slightly to bring the image into sharp focus.

The stage supports a slide.

The stage clips secure the slide in position for viewing.

The diaphragm (not labeled), located under the stage, controls the amount of light that is allowed to pass through the object being viewed.

The light source provides light for viewing the image. It can be either a light reflected with a mirror or an incandescent light from a small lamp. NEVER use reflected direct sunlight as a light source.

The arm supports the body tube. The base supports the microscope.

Coarse adjustment Fine adjustment


Body tube

Coarse adjustment Fine adjustment

High-power objective

Low-power objective

Stage clips Stage

Light source


High-power objective

Low-power objective

Stage clips Stage

Light source

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