# Homework Help: Biology - Calculating Resolving Power of Microscope?

1. Sep 15, 2009

### ummyster

Biology -- Calculating Resolving Power of Microscope??

1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
The question is this:

Resolving power is a function of the wavelength of light used and the numerical aperature of the objective lens. Given that RP= wavelength / (2 x NA), calculate the resolving power of the microscope when using oil immersion lens. Visible light has an average wavelength of 0.55 um ( 1 um = 0.000001 meters)

:/ Help? I think I got it but I'm not sure what to use for NA.

2. Relevant equations

RP= wavelength / (2 x NA)

3. The attempt at a solution

RP= (0.55 um x 0.000001 meters) / (2 x 1.3 )

I found that 1.3 value online. I don't even understand how to get that value...

2. Sep 15, 2009

### mgb_phys

Re: Biology -- Calculating Resolving Power of Microscope??

The numerical aperture depends on the focal length of the objective (and it's design)
Were you given the magnification?

3. Sep 18, 2009