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Biology is the scientific study of life, from the simplest forms of life to complex life forms, such as ourselves. The science examines the structure, growth, origin, evolution and reproductivity of living things. The primary necessity to be classified as a living thing is that it can reproduce itself. Four unifying principals of modern biology are cell structure, evolution, genetics and homeostasis. Like the other disciplines discussed on this web page, biology is a diversified field comprised of many specialized disciplines. Microbiology is the study of life to small to be seen with the naked eye. The primary instrument used in the study of the microsphere is the microscope. As with telescopes, there are several basic types, although many variations between, depending on the particular area of study interest. Basically, there are only two types of visual light microscopes, the compound microscope and the stereo microscope. The compound microscope has one light beam path, and the image of the specimen is in two dimensions. The monocular microscope is simply a single eyepiece microscope, passing the light from the objective to the eyepiece. The binocular compound microscope splits the single light beam into two paths, one for two eyepieces. The image is still, however, in two dimensions. Due to it's high magnification, individual specimen cells can be viewed.The stereo microscope uses two separate light beam paths, not a single split path. The image is in three dimensions. This microscope is for larger specimens, and does not have the magnification that a compound microscope can achieve. The stereo microscope is often referred to as a dissecting microscope due to it's three dimensional capability. You can see individual cells with a stereo microscope as well. Both types of microscope can be digital, much like a digital camera, transferring the image to a computer screen for easier viewing by groups of people. Two other types of microscopes are the scanning electron microscope (SEM) which is illuminated by flows of electrons, and the TEM, which is more powerful but the image is in two dimensions. The SEM image is in three dimensions. Both of these types are research grade instruments. One other type of microscope, used in geology, not biology, is the petrographic microscope. This microscope inspects thin silvers of rock by light illumination. By the use of special filters placed at different angles, the refraction or refection of light can be used to identify the minerals in the rock, thus identifying the rock type. These last three microscopes are expensive and normally used only by research facilities.
StarscapeScientific provides a variety of compound microscopes and stereo microscopes, including digital microscopes, ranging from beginner hobbyist to professional instruments designed for advanced users and even research grade tailored to academic study.