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Why do my eyelashes look enormous

  1. Feb 21, 2006 #1
    ...when looking through a micrcoscope? I for the most part understand why the image on the slide is magnified. I'm not quite sure why anything that sits in front of the eyepiece gets magnified.

    This must have to do somehow with its compound nature of the microscope because when I look through a single magnifying glass, my eyelashes look normal sized.
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 21, 2006 #2


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    Oh yeah, I had that same problem too... the bio people might be able to help you though. I don't remember using microscopes in physics much, mostly in biology.
  4. Feb 21, 2006 #3
    Which grade are you? Normally when refraction and lens are taught in schools the texts also give examples of how things like telescope, microscope, etc work.
    Do you have knowledge about the size of eye-piece and objective of microscope. The eye piece makes a virtual image of the real inverted image made by objective which is real. Probably you must refer some books of higher grades.
  5. Feb 21, 2006 #4
    It's not actually magnified as I once found out, it is merely brought into focus. Try this experiment. Place a toothpick across the lens and look through the microscope. The toothpick will seem to be magnified. But now, move your eye back very slowly so that you can see both the portion of the toothpick that covers the lens and the portion that does not. You should see that both parts are actually the same size, the difference being that the part over the lens is focussed while the other part is not. It looks big because it's close AND it seems to be in focus.

    Normally we cannot see close objects like our eyelashes or a toothpick that is too close because light this close cannot be focussed on the retina. But when we use a microscope then the light coming into our eye is directed (through lenses) and aimed differently. I don't know the optical details but I suspect that this light allows the toothpick (or eyelash) to cast its shadow on our retina since the incident light is already set to project there.
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