Mechanical Stage

∞ generated and posted on 2016.01.14 ∞

Clip that holds firmly in place a microscope slide, for viewing, but which can be moved via a series of dials.

Modern light microscopes of any reasonable quality will possess what is known as a mechanical stage. This consists of two dials controlling the movement of the slide, backwards and forward as well as side to side.

Mechanical Stage

Figure legend: The specimen is poised above the condenser of a compound light microscope, sitting upon a platform called a stage. With a mechanical stage the slide holding the specimen in turn is immobilized into a system that can be moved about in conjunction with the slide, movement which is accomplished using dials. Typically during viewing a specimen through a compound microscope one hand consequently is found on these dials, moving the specimen about, while the other hand is placed on the fine focus, adjusting the specimen's focus.

Key to proper functioning of a mechanical stage is for the microscope slide to be properly clipped to the stage. Lack of familiarity with the typical, modern slide clipping system can lead to confusion and a failure to move the slide using the mechanical stage.