Why Are Microscopes so Important?

Microscopes are important because they allow scientists to study microorganisms, cells, crystalline structures and molecular structures. Microscopes are one of the most important diagnostic tools when doctors examine tissue samples. Electron microscopes help create the very tiny electrical circuits found on silicon microchips. Scanning microscopes are much more sophisticated, and have higher magnifications, than light-refracting microscopes.

Microscopes magnify blood samples so doctors can see malaria parasites attacking red blood cells. Microscopic examination confirms laboratory tests that may be positive for the disease. Technicians count the number of red blood cells infected with malaria to give doctors an idea of how advanced the disease is in a patient.

Microscopes enlarge images of silicon chips to help engineers create more efficient electronic devices. When more circuits are fitted onto a small chip, the computational power of silicon microchips increases. Electron microscopes help prepare small surfaces for sectioning into small slices.

Electron microscopes enlarge the view of tiny viruses, which allows scientists to develop vaccines and cures for infectious diseases in humans and animals. Scanning electron microscopes have magnifications up to several million times to view molecules, viruses and nanoparticles. These microscopes use corrective software to increase magnification and resolution of images. Computers help nanotechnologists use high-powered electron microscopes to view objects only a few molecules thick.