Like this study set? Create a free account to save it.

Sign up for an account

Already have a Quizlet account? .

Create an account


the simplest collection of matter that can live

Light microscope

visible light is passed through the specimen and then through glass lenses


a measure of the clarity of the image; it is the minimum distance two points can be separated and still be distinguished as two points


ratio of an object's image size to its real size

Light microscopes can magnify effectively to about how many times the actual size of the specimen

1000 times

Cell walls were first seen by who in 1665

Robert Hooke

Whose lenses were the first to actually visualize living cells

Antoni van Leeuwenhoek

Electron microscope

instead of using light, focuses a beam of electrons through the specimen or onto its surface

(light microscopy) unstained specimen

passes light direct through specimen; unless cell is naturally pigmented or artificially stained, image has little contrast

(light microscopy) stained specimen

staining with various dyes enhances contrast; most staining procedures require that cells be fixed

(light microscopy) phase contrast

enhances contrast in unstained cells by amplifying variations in density within specimen; useful for examining living, unpigmented cells

(light microscopy) differential interference contrast

uses optical modifications to exaggerate differences in density, making image appear almost 3-D

(light microscopy) fluorescence

shows the locations of specific molecules in the cell by tagging the molecules with fluorescent dyes or antibodies, which then absorb UV radiation and emit visible light

(light microscopy) confocal

a fluorescent optical sectioning technique that uses a pinhole aperture to eliminate out of focus light from a thick sample, creating a single plane of fluorescence in the image

Cell ultrastructure

refers to the cellular anatomy revealed by an electron microscope

(electron microscopy) scanning electron microscope

shows a 3-D image of the surface of a specimen

(electron microscopy) transmission electron microscopy

profiles a thin section of a specimen, revealing its ultrastructure

Disadvantages of electron microscopy

the methods used to prepare the specimen kill the cells and specimen preparation can introduce artifacts, structural features seen in micrographs that do not exist in the living cell


light micrograph


scanning electron micrograph


transmission electron micrograph


the study of cell structure


the study of the molecules and chemical processes (metabolism) of cells

Cell fractionation

technique for studying cell structure and function, which takes cells apart and separates the major organelles and other subcellular structures from one another

How do the stains used for light microscopy compare to those for electron microscopy?

Stains used for light microscopy are colored molecules that bind to cell components, affecting the light passing through, while stains used for electron microscopy involve heavy metals that affect the beams of electrons passing through

Which type of microscope would you use to study the changes in shape of a living white blood cell?

light microscope

Which type of microscope would you use to study the details of surface texture of a hair?

electron microscope

Which type of microscope would you use to study the detailed structure of an organelle?

transmission electron microscope

Please allow access to your computer’s microphone to use Voice Recording.

Having trouble? Click here for help.

We can’t access your microphone!

Click the icon above to update your browser permissions and try again


Reload the page to try again!


Press Cmd-0 to reset your zoom

Press Ctrl-0 to reset your zoom

It looks like your browser might be zoomed in or out. Your browser needs to be zoomed to a normal size to record audio.

Please upgrade Flash or install Chrome
to use Voice Recording.

For more help, see our troubleshooting page.

Your microphone is muted

For help fixing this issue, see this FAQ.

Star this term

You can study starred terms together

Voice Recording