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Difference between Light Microscope and Electron Microscope

 Light Microscope and Electron Microscope


Light Microscope
Electron Microscope (EM)
1
Techniques are simple
High level of technical skill needed
2
Specimen preparation normally takes a few minutes to few hours
Specimen preparation often takes several days
3
Live or dead specimens may be seen
Only dead and dried specimens can be seen
4
Surface view  of the specimen is poor
Good surface details (SEM) or internal details (TEM) can be seen.
5
Light rays are used to illuminate the specimen.
Electron beam produced by the cathode is used
6
Condenser, objective and eye piece lenses are made of glass.
All lenses are electromagnets.
7
Resolving power
Light microscope has low resolving power i.e., below 0.25 μm to 0.30 μm.
Electron microscope ha high resolving power i.e., about 250 times more than light microscope. Thus it can resolve down to 0.0001 μm.
8
Magnification
It has a useful magnification of 500x to 1500x.
EM has direct magnification as high as 160,000x and photographic magnification is 1000,000x or more
9
Mechanism of image formation
In light microscope the image formation depends upon of light absorption in different zones of the objects.
In electron microscope, it is due to electron scattering.
10
Image is seen by eyes through ocular lens. No screen is needed.
The image is received on zinc sulphate fluorescent screen or photographic plate
11
No vacuum is needed
EM operates at high vacuum
12
Cheap and negligible running cost
Very costly and heavy running costs

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