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Compare and contrast the differences between a light and electron microscope Although the theory between an optical and electron microscope is similar the results that can be achieved vary tremendously This is due to several factors but the most important of these being the resolution it is possible to achieve using the different microscopes With an ordinary compound light microscope the average resolution achievable is 300 nm m x 10-9 with a transmission electron microscope this is increased to 10 nm this can be improved again with the use of a scanning microscope where the average resolution is 2 nm The reason the resolution varies so much is that the resolution is calculated by halving the wavelength of the power source in light microscopy this is the wavelength of visible light between 400 and 700 nm Scanning electron microscopy uses electrons with energies of a few thousand electron volts eV energies 1000 times greater than visable light 2-3 eV For 3600 electron-volt electrons the wavelength is is 002 nm hmomentum where hplancks constant 6626 x 10-27 erg seconds The reason that the average resolution is greater than this number is due to the construction of the microscope its self however the resolution can be pushed to 01 nm Another thing which varies between optical microscopes SEMs and TEMs is the depth of field this is poor on light microscopes moderate on TEMs and high on SEMs Also the Field of view between the microscopes varies greatly it is good enough on both the light and SEMs but is very limited on the TEM hence limiting the viewing that it is suitable to be used for As the surrounding for the preparation in both the TEM and SEM is a vacuum it follows that they are both unsuitable for the magnification of living things A light microscope can be used to look at real living or non-living items A SEM is
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