Light Microscope Vs Electron Microscope: Similarities and Differences- A Comparison Table

difference between light and electron microscope

There are more animals living in the scum on the teeth in a man’s mouth than there are men in a whole kingdom.
Antony van Leeuwenhoek

A microscope is an instrument used to see objects which are not directly visible to naked eyes. The word microscope is derived from the Latin word ‘micro’ (=small) and the Greek word ‘skopos’ (=to look at). The present decade’s development in science and technology produced varied types of microscopes with wide and diverse applications.

Major credits for the current developments in biological sciences goes to the technological advancements in the field of microscopy which allowed scientists to visualize not only minute structural features but also many molecular and physiological pathways within the cells. The significance of microscopy in biological sciences if further evident when we see the history of Nobel Prize. Almost all types of microscope discoveries and their further advancements have been awarded with Nobel Prize.

There are two fundamental types of microscopes; they are optical (light) microscopes which employ glass lenses and visible spectrum of light; and electron microscope which employ electromagnetic lenses and beam of electrons for image formation.

This post is describes the similarities and fundamental differences between these two type of microscopes namely optical (light) microscope and Electron microscope.

Similarities between Light Microscope and Electron Microscope

Ø  Both microscopes are used for visualizing small objects which are not directly observable by naked eyes

Ø  Specimen preparations such as sectioning, staining mounting etc are required in both types of microscopes prior to observation

Ø  Both types of microscopes are used in research applications

Ø  Both microscopes follow Abbe’s law

Ø  Microphotography is possible with both microscopes

Difference between Light Microscope and Electron Microscope

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