Although we now know how the errors of lenses may be corrected, and how the simple microscope may be improved, this instrument remains with relatively feeble magnification, and to obtain stronger magnifications the compound form is necessary.
The excellent manner in which the scales and micrometers are mounted, the employment of a compound microscope for viewing the scales, with its ingeniously arranged and admirably efficient reversing prism, and the perfection of its slow motions for focusing and reading, combine to render this a most accurate and convenient instrument for very refined measures, although too slow for work in which the measures must depend on single pointings in each of two reversed positions of the plate, and where speed of working is essential.
A microscope objective being made in essentially the same way as a simple microscope, and the front focus of the compound system being situated before the front focus of the objective, the magnification due to the simple system makes the free object distance greater than that obtained with a simple microscope of equal magnification.
As rotifers are common in ponds, the first workers with the microscope observed them repeatedly, the first record being that of John Harris in 1696, who found a Bdelloid in a gallipot that had been standing in his window.
If both forks vibrate, an observer looking through the microscope sees the bright point describing Lissajous figures.
Nutri' nt gelatine is fixed under the microscope and kept at constant temperature, a curve of growth can be obtained recording the behaviour during many hours or days.
He was the inventor of the stage-micrometer, and of a form of heliometer; and in 1816 he succeeded in constructing for the microscope achromatic glasses of long focus, consisting of a single lens, the constituent glasses of which were in juxtaposition, but not cemented together.
The microscope or viewing telescope is fitted with a spider-line micrometer having two screws at right angles to each other, by means of which readings can be made first on one reseau-line, then on the star, and finally on the opposite reseau-line in both co-ordinates.
The compound microscope generally consists of two positive lens systems, so arranged that the system nearer the object (termed the objective) projects a real enlarged image, which occupies the same place relatively to the second system (the eyepiece or ocular) as does the real object in the simple microscope.
Hence a condenser, for lighting with very oblique cones, must have about the same aperture as the objective, and therefore be of very wide aperture; they therefore closely resemble microscope objectives in construction.