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Magnification Calculator


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Magnification calculator finds the magnification level that reveals how much larger an object will appear when viewed via a magnifying lens.  It helps you understand the degree of enlargement compared to its actual size, often used in fields like microscopy or photography.

What is the magnification?

Magnification is the process of making something look larger than its actual physical size. This apparent enlargement is measured using a size ratio known as optical magnification. When this ratio is less than one, it indicates a reduction in size, which is termed de-magnification.

Magnification formula:

The formula to calculate magnification is:

$$ M = \frac{v}{u} $$

In this equation:

  • M represents the magnification,
  • v is the distance of the image formed by the lens, and
  • u is the distance of the object from the lens.

How do you calculate magnification?

The above formula is used for calculating optical magnifications, let's show it with an example:

Let’s say you have a magnifying glass, and there's a small bug you want to take a closer look at.

Find out how far the bug is from the magnifying glass:

Use a ruler or any measuring tool. Let's say it's 10 centimeters away.

See how far the bug looks when magnified:

Measure the total distance of the bug's magnified image. Let's say it's 30 centimeters.

Calculate how much bigger it looks:

Use the formula: \(M = \frac{v}{u}\)

Now, enter the values:

\(M = \frac{30 \, \text{cm}}{10 \, \text{cm}} = 3\)

So, the bug looks three times bigger through the magnifying glass than its actual size.

What is the difference between magnification and zoom?


  • Function: Enlarges and brings objects closer, similar to wearing glasses.
  • Effect: More detail is visible, but the overall size of the window remains the same.


  • Function: Adjusts the viewing window closer or farther from an object.
  • Effect: Shows a different portion of the object, potentially larger or smaller, without actually magnifying it.

Key Difference:

So, magnification makes things BIGGER, like a superhero. Whereas, Zoom lets you see things CLOSER, like a curious detective. That's the main difference.

Alan Walker

Studies mathematics sciences, and Technology. Tech geek and a content writer. Wikipedia addict who wants to know everything. Loves traveling, nature, reading. Math and Technology have done their part, and now it's the time for us to get benefits.

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