Question Video: Identifying Micrograph Images Produced by Different Microscopes | Nagwa Question Video: Identifying Micrograph Images Produced by Different Microscopes | Nagwa

Question Video: Identifying Micrograph Images Produced by Different Microscopes Biology • First Year of Secondary School

The micrograph provided is of the head of an ant. Which type of microscope is most likely to have been used to produce this image? [A] Light microscope [B] Scanning electron microscope [C] Transmission electron microscope

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Video Transcript

The micrograph provided is of the head of an ant. Which type of microscope is most likely to have been used to produce this image? A light microscope, a scanning electron microscope, or a transmission electron microscope.

Let’s start by looking at the information that we’ve been provided with by the question and the micrograph. This image is three-dimensional, and it is showing the surface of the head of the ant. It is also in black and white. Different microscopes produce different sorts of images, and we can use this information to determine what microscope produced this particular micrograph.

We are using a table to compare the three different types of microscope. Scanning electron microscopes can be shortened to SEMs, while transmission electron microscopes can be shortened to TEMs. Light microscopes and TEMs both produce two-dimensional, flat images, while SEMs produce three-dimensional images. Light microscopy shows us the natural color of specimens, which may also be stained with dyes to produce high-contrast, colored images, while images produced by the two electron microscopes can only be black and white, though they might have false color added later.

Light microscopes have the lowest magnification of the three types. And therefore, they tend to be used to view and distinguish between cells within tissues or visualize entire small living organisms. Scanning electron microscopes have a high magnifying and resolving power, and they work by passing electron beams over the surface of a specimen, which are reflected by metal ions put on the specimen’s surface. And the resulting signals are collected by specific detectors to produce highly detailed images of the surface of a specimen.

Transmission electron microscopes typically have an even higher magnifying and resolving power, and they work by passing a beam of electrons through a specimen to produce highly detailed images of intracellular structures such as organelles.

The micrograph of the ant is in 3D. Purely based on its three-dimensional nature, both light microscopes and transmission electron microscopes can be ruled out, suggesting that the image was produced by a scanning electron microscope, which does produce 3D images. The image also shows the surface of the ant’s head. And we know that SEMs typically produce images of the surface of specimens. The micrograph is not of the cells themselves nor is it of intracellular structures such as organelles, so this suggests that neither light nor transmission electron microscopes would produce this micrograph. We can therefore deduce that this image has been produced by a scanning electron microscope.

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