I've read somewhere that inverted microscope also allows phase contrast microscopy. Is that true? Do all inverted microscope have this ability? Do they have any other functions?

Many thanks in advance.


1 Answer 1


Definitely true, an inverted microscope is one where the optics are positioned below the specimen, and the light source above, providing an optimal situation for looking at a live culture. The Phase rings that shift the light come soon after the light source. For phase, the orientation doesn't matter, just the order:

Upright microscope


(top)eye--->objective--->specimen--->phase--->light source


eye-->Phase compatible objective-->specimen-->phase disk-->light source

Inverted microscope


(top)light source--->phase--->specimen---->Objective--->eye


eye-->phase compatible objective-->specimen-->phase disk-->light source

Not all microscopes have phase no, they are an important and expensive addition to a microscope. Adding phase not only required the phase disk but also a phase compatible objective.

  • $\begingroup$ i tried to start a microscopy SE in Area51, no one gave a @#$% $\endgroup$
    – rhill45
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 0:33

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