The optical microscope is one of the greatest scientific inventions of humanity, its appearance marked a before and after in the history of science, especially in the fields of medicine and biology. A microscope can be defined as an instrument that allows you to observe in an enlarged size elements that are imperceptible to the human eye.

At present, thanks to the great technological advances, there are several types of microscopes, where each one has different characteristics and operating principles.

The terms optical microscope and stereoscopic microscope are commonly used interchangeably, which is a mistake, since they are not the same instrument. To avoid confusing them, it is important to know their similarities and differences between these microscopes.

What is an optical microscope?

The optical microscope is the most basic microscope, and its operation is based on the use of a set of lenses and visible light in order to increase the image of a sample, which is observed in two dimensions.

What is a stereo microscope?

The stereoscopic microscope is a type of optical microscope that allows samples to be observed in three dimensions, they are a type of reflected light microscope, where the focus illuminates the sample and the light reflected by the sample is observed through objectives and eyepieces.

In binocular optical microscopes, the sample is always observed through a single objective, which means that the image that reaches both eyes is exactly the same, and as a consequence, a three-dimensional vision cannot be generated. While in stereoscopic microscopes, the sample is observed through two different lenses, this causes the image that reaches each eye to be slightly different, and the combination of these two images through our eyes produces the three-dimensional effect.

Main differences between an optical microscope and a stereoscopic microscope

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