Timeline of microscope technology

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1852 microscope Igmicro.jpg
1852 microscope

Timeline of microscope technology

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lens</span> Optical device which transmits and refracts light

A lens is a transmissive optical device that focuses or disperses a light beam by means of refraction. A simple lens consists of a single piece of transparent material, while a compound lens consists of several simple lenses (elements), usually arranged along a common axis. Lenses are made from materials such as glass or plastic and are ground, polished, or molded to the required shape. A lens can focus light to form an image, unlike a prism, which refracts light without focusing. Devices that similarly focus or disperse waves and radiation other than visible light are also called "lenses", such as microwave lenses, electron lenses, acoustic lenses, or explosive lenses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Microscopy</span> Viewing of objects which are too small to be seen with the naked eye

Microscopy is the technical field of using microscopes to view objects and areas of objects that cannot be seen with the naked eye. There are three well-known branches of microscopy: optical, electron, and scanning probe microscopy, along with the emerging field of X-ray microscopy.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Microscope</span> Scientific instrument

A microscope is a laboratory instrument used to examine objects that are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Microscopy is the science of investigating small objects and structures using a microscope. Microscopic means being invisible to the eye unless aided by a microscope.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Optical microscope</span> Microscope that uses visible light

The optical microscope, also referred to as a light microscope, is a type of microscope that commonly uses visible light and a system of lenses to generate magnified images of small objects. Optical microscopes are the oldest design of microscope and were possibly invented in their present compound form in the 17th century. Basic optical microscopes can be very simple, although many complex designs aim to improve resolution and sample contrast.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hans Lipperhey</span> German-Dutch lens crafter (1570–1619)

Hans Lipperhey, also known as Johann Lippershey or Lippershey, was a German-Dutch spectacle-maker. He is commonly associated with the invention of the telescope, because he was the first one who tried to obtain a patent for it. It is, however, unclear if he was the first one to build a telescope.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of the telescope</span> Aspect of history

The history of the telescope can be traced to before the invention of the earliest known telescope, which appeared in 1608 in the Netherlands, when a patent was submitted by Hans Lippershey, an eyeglass maker. Although Lippershey did not receive his patent, news of the invention soon spread across Europe. The design of these early refracting telescopes consisted of a convex objective lens and a concave eyepiece. Galileo improved on this design the following year and applied it to astronomy. In 1611, Johannes Kepler described how a far more useful telescope could be made with a convex objective lens and a convex eyepiece lens. By 1655, astronomers such as Christiaan Huygens were building powerful but unwieldy Keplerian telescopes with compound eyepieces.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Refracting telescope</span> Type of optical telescope

A refracting telescope is a type of optical telescope that uses a lens as its objective to form an image. The refracting telescope design was originally used in spyglasses and astronomical telescopes but is also used for long-focus camera lenses. Although large refracting telescopes were very popular in the second half of the 19th century, for most research purposes, the refracting telescope has been superseded by the reflecting telescope, which allows larger apertures. A refractor's magnification is calculated by dividing the focal length of the objective lens by that of the eyepiece.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Optical telescope</span> Telescope for observations with visible light

An optical telescope is a telescope that gathers and focuses light mainly from the visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum, to create a magnified image for direct visual inspection, to make a photograph, or to collect data through electronic image sensors.

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. Because light is an electromagnetic wave, other forms of electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays, microwaves, and radio waves exhibit similar properties.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Zacharias Janssen</span> Dutch optician

Zacharias Janssen; also Zacharias Jansen or Sacharias Jansen; 1585 – pre-1632) was a Dutch spectacle-maker who lived most of his life in Middelburg. He is associated with the invention of the first optical telescope and/or the first truly compound microscope, but these claims may be fabrications put forward by his son.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cornelis Drebbel</span> Dutch engineer and inventor

Cornelis Jacobszoon Drebbel was a Dutch engineer and inventor. He was the builder of the first operational submarine in 1620 and an innovator who contributed to the development of measurement and control systems, optics and chemistry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Eyepiece</span> Type of lens attached to a variety of optical devices such as telescopes and microscopes

An eyepiece, or ocular lens, is a type of lens that is attached to a variety of optical devices such as telescopes and microscopes. It is named because it is usually the lens that is closest to the eye when someone looks through an optical device to observe an object or sample. The objective lens or mirror collects light from an object or sample and brings it to focus creating an image of the object. The eyepiece is placed near the focal point of the objective to magnify this image to the eyes. The amount of magnification depends on the focal length of the eyepiece.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Optical instrument</span> Scientific instrument using light waves for image viewing

An optical instrument is a device that processes light waves, either to enhance an image for viewing or to analyze and determine their characteristic properties. Common examples include periscopes, microscopes, telescopes, and cameras.

JacobMetius was a Dutch instrument-maker and a specialist in grinding lenses. He is primarily known for the patent application he made for an optical telescope in October 1608, a few weeks after Hans Lippershey submitted a patent for the same device. He was the brother of the geometer and astronomer Adriaan Metius.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of optics</span>

Optics began with the development of lenses by the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians, followed by theories on light and vision developed by ancient Greek philosophers, and the development of geometrical optics in the Greco-Roman world. The word optics is derived from the Greek term τα ὀπτικά meaning 'appearance, look'. Optics was significantly reformed by the developments in the medieval Islamic world, such as the beginnings of physical and physiological optics, and then significantly advanced in early modern Europe, where diffractive optics began. These earlier studies on optics are now known as "classical optics". The term "modern optics" refers to areas of optical research that largely developed in the 20th century, such as wave optics and quantum optics.

The following timeline lists the significant events in the invention and development of the telescope.

A scientific equipment optician is an individual who makes and adjusts other optical aids, including telescope optics and microscope lenses. See also Optician for individuals who make and adjust glasses.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Stereo microscope</span>

The stereo, stereoscopic or dissecting microscope is an optical microscope variant designed for low magnification observation of a sample, typically using light reflected from the surface of an object rather than transmitted through it. The instrument uses two separate optical paths with two objectives and eyepieces to provide slightly different viewing angles to the left and right eyes. This arrangement produces a three-dimensional visualization of the sample being examined. Stereomicroscopy overlaps macrophotography for recording and examining solid samples with complex surface topography, where a three-dimensional view is needed for analyzing the detail.

Sir Willem Boreel, 1st Baronet was a Dutch diplomat.

The Campani compound microscope is a microscope on exhibit at the Museo Galileo in Italy, thought to have been built by optical instrument maker Giuseppe Campani in the second half 17th century. For a time it was thought to have been built by Italian scientist Galileo Galilei but no longer bares that attribution.


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  11. Brian Shmaefsky, Biotechnology 101 - 2006, p. 171
  12. Albert Van Helden; Sven Dupré; Rob van Gent (2010). The Origins of the Telescope. Amsterdam University Press. pp. 32–36, 43. ISBN   978-90-6984-615-6.
  13. Riddell JL (1854). "On the binocular microscope". Q J Microsc Sci. 2: 18–24.
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