A mechanical stage of a microscope refers to the mechanism that has been mounted on the stage for holding and moving the microscope slide.
It is an important part of the microscope that enhances the function of the stage. It allows for precise movement of the specimen through the field of view, which is that area of specimen visible through the microscope.
Depending on the type of microscope being used, the stage can be classified on the basis of design and functionality. Some of the stages include;
It is important to use the mechanical stage to get a better and clear view of the specimen. It makes using the microscope much easier.
It allows for better control of the slide in addition to avoiding accidental bumping that may knock the slide out of focus.
Moreover, it allows a systematic scanning of the slide so that the entire specimen can be viewed.
The other significant importance of the using the mechanical stage is its use at higher magnification since with it a slide containing the specimen can be moved in small increments and opposite directions.
The microscope mechanical stage is composed of a number of important parts that include;
Typically, the mechanical stage is equipped with two translational knobs. Whereas one is for the x-axis, the other one is for the y-axis. The user is allowed to move the slide in the x or y direction slowly and smoothly by turning the knobs.
There are a number of steps of how to effectively use the mechanical stage of a microscope to achieve a more detailed view. These include;
It is important to ensure that the stage is cleaned to avoid having specimen drops among other dirt from accumulating. This is because the accumulated dirt may affect the smooth movement of the mechanical stage.
The microscope has had humble beginnings before the mechanical microscope stage came in to use.
The presence of microscope scanning stages on a platform that was movable proved to be highly useful and so is common in all of today's microscopes from top manufacturers as well as lesser known brands.
In this case, users no longer have to touch specimens during observation since they can easily move them along the moveable platform.
Since the mechanics of this stage was designed to move slowly, it was made for intense observations and studies of the specimen. This has generally contributed to better microscopy.
Michael W. Davidson - National High Magnetic Field Laboratory, 1800 East Paul Dirac Dr., The Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida, 32310.
"Microscopes: Time Line". Nobel Web AB. Retrieved 2010-01-27.
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