Definition of a Simple Microscope

Definition of a Simple Microscope

Simple Microscope: 

A simple microscope is essentially a magnifying glass made of a single convex lens with a short focal length, which magnifies the object through angular magnification, thus producing an erect virtual image of the object near the lens. 

What is the principle of a simple microscope?

If you place a tiny object within the focus of the simple microscope, a magnified image of the object is formed making it easier for the naked eye peeping through the lens to see the image.

How Does A Simple Microscope Work?

Simple microscopes make use of a biconvex lens to magnify the image of a specimen. Nowadays, these lenses often consist of two glass elements with color correction abilities. The closer the object is to the lens, the larger the magnified image becomes.


Since a simple microscope only makes use of one objective lens, its magnification capability is greatly limited. In fact, most simple microscopes only have a 10x magnification power.

The formula for calculating the magnifying power of a simple microscope is: M  = 1 + D/F, where D is the least distance of distinct vision, and F is the focal length of the convex lens. The shorter the focal length of the lens, the higher the magnifying power of the microscope.

Difference between compound microscope and simple microscope

As the name suggests, a simple microscope uses a single lens for magnification while a compound microscope uses various lenses to further magnify the object. 

Click the link for Magnus Compound microscopes.

What are the uses of a simple microscope?

  1. Watchmaking industry – A simple microscope is commonly used by watchmakers to magnify a small part of the watch.
  2. Jewelry making – Jewelry makers use a simple microscope to visualize the magnified view of the small parts of the jewelry.
  3. Agriculture industry – A simple microscope is also useful in the agricultural sector. It is usually used to magnify various particles of various types of soils.
  4. Palm reading – A simple microscope is used by palmist to visualize the lines of the hands.
  5. Dermatology – A dermatologist or skin specialist also uses a simple microscope to check for various skin diseases.
  6. Biology – A simple microscope helps in examining and studying microscopic fungi, algae, and other biological specimens that is difficult to visualize using the naked eyes – Botany & Zoology
  7. Other uses – A simple microscope is also useful in other sectors such as enlarging the image of letters of a book, visualizing the details of stamps and engravings, and checking the texture of fibers or threads of a cloth. 

The above simple magnifying microscopes have served as the foundation for the development and invention of many other types of more sophisticated microscopes for the above applications such as Stereo Microscope

Click the link for Magnus Stereo Microscopes.

Magnified picture of an insect - Zoology

Magnified picture of PCB – Electronics industry


Magnified picture of Wrist watch – Watch industry