Which of the following tables
correctly compares light, scanning electron, and transmission electron
To help us answer this question,
let’s look at the type of image produced in each example.
Light microscopes, but not electron
microscopes, produce color images. Therefore, we can eliminate option
(C) as it incorrectly states light microscopes produce black and white images and
scanning electron microscopes produce color images.
Scanning electron microscopes
produce 3D images, whereas light microscopes and transmission electron microscopes
typically produce 2D images. So, we can also eliminate option
(D) as this incorrectly identifies the type of image produced for each
We are now left with options (A)
and (B). So, let’s look at the typical
maximum magnification to help us identify the correct option. Magnification is how many times
larger an image appears compared to the original object. For instance, a magnification of 50
times means the image produced by the microscope is 50 times larger than the object
we are looking at.
Light microscopes have the lowest
magnification out of the three types provided, with a maximum of 1,500 times. Electron microscopes have much
higher magnifications. A transmission electron microscope
can magnify images up to 50 million times. Using this knowledge, we can rule
out option (A), as it incorrectly states the maximum magnification of a transmission
electron microscope is 1,500 times.
But let’s confirm that table (B) is
our correct answer by looking at the maximum resolution. Resolution is a measure of
distance. It measures the minimum distance
two adjacent objects can have between them and still be visually distinguishable
from each other. The lower the resolution, the
smaller this distance can be. So, the microscopes with the
strongest resolving power will have the smallest value for their resolution.
Electron microscopes can resolve
objects that are much smaller than those resolvable by light microscopes. The maximum resolution of a
transmission electron microscope has been recorded as 0.05 nanometers. This means a transmission electron
microscope can distinguish between objects only 0.00000005 millimeters apart. This confirms that our selection of
option (B) is correct, as (A) states that light microscopes can resolve
comparatively smaller objects, which is incorrect.
So, the table that correctly
compares light, scanning electron, and transmission electron microscopes is table