Wondering Why?

Why is Oil needed for the 100x objective?

Why is Oil needed for the 100x objective?

In science, microscopes are intensely used to study minute specimens. Microscope is an instrument used to view, even the smallest objects. Created in 1590, microscope was named after Galileo Galilei’s innovation of a compound microscope. As time progressed, microscopes began to come at par with technology. From simple microscope, other types of microscopes slowly emerged having definite and specific functions and indications. However, even the use of highly technological microscope ever developed cannot directly focus on a studied specimen without using another medium. One technique most commonly used in microbiology laboratories is the oil immersion microscopy.

Oil immersion microscopy is one of the many outstanding techniques being used today. Oil immersion technique is most often used in increasing the ability of the microscope to view and object or specimen in a more detailed and intrinsic perception. To obtain a 100x objective with the use of a microscope, an oil medium is needed. Oil is used because the ability of oil to bend light is the same as with the glass where specimens are placed. Oil’s high refractive index increases the range of angles or numerical aperture to an acceptable unit that allows light to be emitted. As the lens touches the oil, light does not scatter intensely compared to not using oil, wherein light scatters in different directions that causes the image to be unfocused. Instead, the light is directed towards the image viewed. Therefore, when oil and glass are used together to look through a specimen under a microscope, no refraction of light occurs allowing the observer to have a highly magnified image with an even better resolution.

Scientist may use several methods and techniques in relation to their studies. And it is important to know how to utilize them effectively.


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