Maximum resolution: 200nm

Any objects closer than 200nm will appear as one object under the best light microscope.

2 objects can only be seen if light is able to pass between them.


  • Specimens can be embedded in wax (or dehydrated)
  • Thin sections are cut out without changing the structure
  • There is a risk of material distorting when sectioned

When studying a section, structures may be seen differently depending on how the section was taken relative to the structure. So a mitochondria may have been cut vertically whilst you are looking for one cut horizontally. It is important to account for this.

Microscope Terminology

Artifacts are damaged specimens caused by mechanical or chemical damage during slide preparation.

Here are a few examples of artifacts that could be misidentified as different objects.