Difference Between Compound Microscope and Dissecting Microscope

Main Difference

The main difference between Compound Microscope and Dissecting Microscope is that Compound Microscope is the microscope that is used to observe small objects with high magnification power, whereas Dissecting Microscope is used to dissect the specimen.

Compound Microscope Vs. Dissecting Microscope

We use a different type of tools in biology such as microscopes. They are very helpful to observe microorganisms and pathogens etc. that cannot be seen by the naked eye. There are different types of this device according to their structure and function and are used for a specific purpose. Two such types are the compound microscope and the dissecting microscope. A compound microscope is a microscope that is used to observe the magnified images of small specimens is known as a compound microscope, on the other side, the dissecting microscope is the microscope that is used to examine and dissect the specimen. So, compound microscopes are made to look through a specimen whereas dissecting microscopes are designed for viewing the surface features of a specimen and for dissecting the small insects, etc. Both these types of the microscope are used to magnify an object by focusing light through lenses and prisms towards a specimen. The light may act directly, or it may be reflected in nature, so that it may illuminate the object. The light is transmitted through the object in case of a compound microscope on the flip side; in a dissecting microscope, the object is viewed by the help of reflected light. The light source is present below the specimen in case of compound microscope whereas; the light source is above the specimen in case of dissecting microscope. A compound microscope has multiple objective lenses and one eyepiece while a dissecting microscope has a single objective lens and two eyepiece lenses. A compound microscope has high magnification power up to 1000X; on the other hand, the dissecting microscope has a low magnification power of up to 70x.

Comparison Chart

Compound MicroscopeDissecting Microscope
A microscope that is used to observe the magnified images of small specimens is known as a compound microscopeA microscope that is used to examine and dissect the specimen is known as dissecting microscope.
Other Names
It is also known as a light microscope.It is also known as a stereomicroscope.
Light Source
A light source is present below the specimen in case of a compound microscope.The light source is present above the specimen in case of a dissecting microscope.
Illumination of Object
An object is observed through transmitted light in a compound microscope.In a dissecting microscope, the object is viewed by the help of reflected light.
Magnification Power
A compound microscope has high magnification power up to 1000X.A dissecting microscope has a low magnification power of up to 70x.
Resolution Power
A compound microscope has high-resolution power.A dissecting microscope has low-resolution power.
Working Distance
It has a shorter working distance of 4mm.It has a longer working distance of 150mm.
Preparation of specimen
The specimen is specially prepared through staining etc. to observe under a compound microscope.There is no preparation required to observe an object under a dissecting microscope.
Number of Lenses
A compound microscope has multiple objective lenses and one eyepiece.A dissecting microscope has a single objective lens and two eyepiece lenses.
Function
The compound microscope is used to observe minute and smaller things, like protozoa, bacteria, and cells, etc.It is used to study the surface of the specimen, in microsurgeries, for studying dissections, in watch and small circuit boards making, etc.

What is a Compound Microscope?

A Compound Microscope is the one that uses several objective lenses with different magnification powers to view specimens. It uses light to observe the specimen. Thus specimen should be thin enough for light to pass through it. Staining is also required to observe different sections of a specimen under a compound microscope. It has a magnification power of 400X to about 1,000X and shows detailed features of specimens. It has a shorter working distance of 4mm.

What is Dissecting Microscope?

A Dissecting Microscope is also known as a stereomicroscope. It has a lower magnification power of 70x. A beam of light is projected above the specimen. This type of microscope is used to view larger specimens and to dissect small objects such as insects etc. It has a longer working distance of 150mm.

Key Differences

  1. A microscope that is used to observe the magnified images of small specimens is known as a compound microscope whereas a type of microscope that is used to examine and dissect the specimen is known as dissecting microscope.
  2. A compound microscope is also called as a light microscope while dissecting microscope is also known as a stereomicroscope.
  3. An object is observed through transmitted light in a compound microscope; on the other hand, in a dissecting microscope, the object is viewed by the help of reflected light.
  4. The light source is present below the specimen in case of a compound microscope. Conversely, the light source is present above the specimen in case of a dissecting microscope.
  5. A compound microscope has multiple objective lenses and one eyepiece on the flip side, a dissecting microscope has a single objective lens and two eyepiece lenses.
  6. The specimen is specially prepared through staining etc. to observe under a compound microscope while there is no preparation required to observe an object under a dissecting microscope.
  7. A compound microscope has a high magnification power of up to 1000X; on the other side, a dissecting microscope has a low magnification power of up to 70x.
  8. A compound microscope has a shorter working distance of 4mm whereas dissecting microscope has a longer working distance of 150mm.
  9. A compound microscope has high-resolution power while a dissecting microscope has low-resolution power.
  10. The compound microscope is used to observe minute and smaller things, like protozoa, bacteria, and cells, etc. on the flip side, a dissecting microscope is used to study the surface of a specimen, in microsurgeries, for studying dissections, in watch and small circuit boards making, etc.

Comparison Video

YouTube video

Conclusion

Above discussion summarizes that the compound microscope is used to observe the small objects with high magnification power and resolution while dissecting microscope is a microscope with low magnification power and resolution and used to dissect small objects.

Janet White

Janet White is a writer and blogger for Difference Wiki since 2015. She has a master's degree in science and medical journalism from Boston University. Apart from work, she enjoys exercising, reading, and spending time with her friends and family. Connect with her on Twitter @Janet__White

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