Objective (optics)
In an optical
Optics is the branch of physics which involves the behavior and properties of light, including its interactions with matter and the construction of instruments that use or detect it. Optics usually describes the behavior of visible, ultraviolet, and infrared light...

 instrument, the objective is the optical element that gathers light from the object being observed and focuses the light rays
Ray (optics)
In optics, a ray is an idealized narrow beam of light. Rays are used to model the propagation of light through an optical system, by dividing the real light field up into discrete rays that can be computationally propagated through the system by the techniques of ray tracing. This allows even very...

 to produce a real image
Real image
In optics, a real image is a representation of an object in which the perceived location is actually a point of convergence of the rays of light that make up the image. If a screen is placed in the plane of a real image the image will generally become visible on the screen...

. Objectives can be single lenses
Lens (optics)
A lens is an optical device with perfect or approximate axial symmetry which transmits and refracts light, converging or diverging the beam. A simple lens consists of a single optical element...

 or mirror
A mirror is an object that reflects light or sound in a way that preserves much of its original quality prior to its contact with the mirror. Some mirrors also filter out some wavelengths, while preserving other wavelengths in the reflection...

s, or combinations of several optical elements. They are used in microscope
A microscope is an instrument used to see objects that are too small for the naked eye. The science of investigating small objects using such an instrument is called microscopy...

s, telescope
A telescope is an instrument that aids in the observation of remote objects by collecting electromagnetic radiation . The first known practical telescopes were invented in the Netherlands at the beginning of the 1600s , using glass lenses...

s, camera
A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

s, slide projector
Slide projector
A slide projector is an opto-mechanical device to view photographic slides. Slide projectors were common in the 1950s to the 1970s as a form of entertainment; family members and friends would gather to view slide shows...

s, CD players and many other optical instruments. Objectives are also called object lenses, object glasses, or objective glasses.
The objective lens of a microscope is the one at the bottom near the sample.