Microscopy is a technical field that deals with the examination of objects that cannot be seen with the naked eye or the examination of normal objects using a microscope. The three most well-known branches of microscopy are optical microscopy, electron microscopy, and scanning probe microscopy.

Optical microscopy and electron microscopy use the refraction, scattering, or reflection of electromagnetic radiation or electron beams to form an image. The process takes place by maintaining a large-scale irradiation of the sample or by scanning a beam over the sample.

In scanning probe microscopy, contact of the scanning probe with the surface of the object under examination is also involved. The use of the microscopy method opened a new era in biology and led to the emergence of many important scientific fields such as histology.

Microscopes are instruments for magnifying small objects. Microscopes come in various sizes and shapes, and can create an image using many imaging modalities (light, electron, ion, x-ray, mechanical probe, etc.) and signals. A microscope can be as simple as a hand-held magnifying glass, or it can be a complex research instrument worth millions of dollars.