Compare and contrast the structure and function of a compound light microscope and a scanning electron microscope. Be sure to include something about the structure and function of each as well as the function and usefulness of each when examining a specimen, please.
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There are not many things that these two microscope types have in common. Both electron and light microscopes are technical devices which are used for visualizing structures that are too small to see with the unaided eye, and both types have relevant areas of applications in biology and the materials sciences. And this is pretty much it. The method of visualizing the structures is very different. Electron Microscopes use electrons and not photons (light rays) for visualization. The first electron microscope was constructed in 1931, compared to optical microscopes they are a very recent invention. Compound light microscopes use light and reflection in order to magnify an object, while scanning electron microscopes use electron beams in order to map out and visualize small parts of a sample. Compound light microscopes are also a lot simpler and are commonly used in classroom settings. They consist of a tray and a beam of light from underneath. The electron microscopes are a lot more complex and expensive. They have a chamber that focuses electrons on specific portions of the sample.