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Submitted by on Dec 13, 2019

A magnifying glass (called a hand lens in laboratory contexts) is a convex lens used to produce a magnified image of an object. The lens is usually attached to a frame with a handle. You can use the magnifying glass to focus the light. For example, you can focus sun‘s radiation and create a hot spot at the focus for fire starting.

The magnifying glass consists of many very narrow, ring-shaped concentric lenses, so the combination works as a single lens but is much thinner. This arrangement is known as the Fresnel lens.

The magnifying glass is a symbol of detective fiction, particularly that of Sherlock Holmes.

Magnification

The magnification of the magnifying glass depends on the location between the user’s eyes and the displayed object and the total distance between them. Magnification is equivalent to angular magnification (this should not be confused with optical power, which is a different quantity). Magnification power is the ratio of the size of the image formed on the user’s retina with and without the lens. For the “without” case, the user is supposed to keep the object as close to the eye as possible without it becoming blurry. This point is known as a near point of accommodation and varies by age. For small children, it can close as 5 cm and for the elderly, it can reach 1 to 2 meters. The magnifying glass is generally characterized by a “standard” value of 0.25 m.

For better magnifying power, place the lens very close to one eye and bring the eye and lens closer together to obtain the best focus. The object is usually near the lens. The magnifying power obtained under these conditions is MP0 = (0.25 m) Φ + 1. Where Φ is the optical power of the diopter and the factor of 0.25 m represents the assumed point (1/4 meter of the eye). This magnifying power value is generally used to characterize the magnifiers. It is usually written “m×”. m = MP0. This is sometimes called the total power of the magnifier (again, do not confuse it with optical power).