Biology in the Laboratory

Seeing Small

How do dissecting microscopes differ from compound microscopes?

Compared to compound microscopes, dissecting microscopes—also called stereoscopic microscopes—provide a much larger working distance between the lens and stage in order to dissect and manipulate specimens. The light source on a dissecting microscope is above the specimen since the specimen is often too thick to allow light to be transmitted from a light source below the specimen. Dissecting microscopes are always binocular, which provides a three-dimensional image.


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