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Making a slide with a coverslip

Usually we put the specimen in a few drops of water so that it does not dry out whilst we are looking at it. The water also helps the light to pass through the specimen more evenly.

To make a slide you need a glass slide, a coverslip and a needle as well as distilled water

To observe a specimen under a compound microscope you need to support it on a glass microscope slide so that light can pass through the specimen that you are looking at. The light comes up from the lamp or the mirror underneath the microscope.

Place the specimen on a slide and add a drop of distilled water

To protect the specimen in the water drops on the slide, you must cover it with a very thin piece of glass called a covershp. This keeps everything flat and it also stops the specimen from drying out.

Carefully place one side of the coverslip into the water

When you put the coverslip on the slide you must make sure that you do not trap any air bubbles under it. Air bubbles get in the way of our view and cause confusion.

So that there are no air bubbles trapped under the coverslip, use a mounted needle or a pair of forceps to lower the coverslip slowly onto the drops of water with the object.

Use a needle to lower the coverslip. This avoids air bubbles.

When you have lowered the coverslip onto the slide you may find that there is too much water around it. Take a piece of paper towel or filter paper and soak up the excess water.

If you find that there is not enough water under the coverslip add a drop of water by the side of it. You will see that the water is drawn under.

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