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What is the difference between magnification and resolution?

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Quick Answer

Magnification makes objects look bigger, while resolution increases the amount of detail that can be seen on an object. Microscopes are used to both magnify objects and resolve them.

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What is the difference between magnification and resolution?
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Full Answer

Microscopes enhance what can be seen by the human eye. They are widely used in science. Different types of microscopes show different amounts of detail. Electron microscopes have a greater resolving power than light microscopes. A light microscope on the highest magnification shows objects that are less than a micrometer apart. Electron microscopes can distinguish objects that are one-twentieth of a nanometer in size. Electron microscopes can be used to see viruses, molecules and individual atoms.

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