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compound microscope

Updated on January 6, 2018

First things I want to present to you about is who invented the compound microscope, and how it was introduced. A lens maker named Zacharias Janssen invented it around 1590s with the help of his father Han Janssen. Zacharias Janssen actually didn’t want to be a lens maker, he just wanted to make counterfeits coins, his brother was a minter so he could have easily learned how to make counterfeits. One day, Zacharias Janssen was playing around with lenses to make more delicate counterfeits. He found out that putting multiple lenses together makes it a lot stronger than just 1 lens. These microscopes were far from perfect, they could only magnify up to 9 times, and it was very blurry inside, but it introduced the people a whole new world of microscopic organisms.

Next, I want to introduce you to how the compound microscope looked and how it works. The outside was usually made out of bronze or iron, there were several lenses inside the tube, this lens was made from a special glass. The 2 basic lenses are the objective lens and the eyepiece. It works by refracting light coming from the objective lens into the eyepiece and then into your retina. It was pretty much inferior to the other simple microscope which consisted of only 1 lens, early makers couldn’t find a way to make the glass perfect so it wouldn’t be so blurry. Making the lens was quite difficult as well, early inventors use zinc oxide to make the lens, but they didn’t know the properties of the chemicals and what shape they should be made in.

Another interesting topic I want to talk to you is about how the compound microscope was important to society during the Renaissance and how did it improve people’s lives or make something possible or make something more efficient? The microscope sparked the interest of many not just scientists, but regular people throughout Europe. It led to many new discoveries in the field of biology, human anatomy, and even medicine. Francesco Stelluti made the first scale image of a bee, he discovered that bees and some insects had compound eyes. The microscope led to the first discovery of a cell from a toilet roll in 1663. Doctors and old men also became interested in how people get sick and how to treat them. They also began studying blood circulation and bacteria. The compound microscope was very important to this period, it led to a whole new field of sciences.

You may not realize this but much of our lives would be very different. The compound microscope inspired many of today’s microscope, like the light microscope, or the electron microscope. You should thank the microscope that you get a vaccine every year, without it, there would be higher mortality rates in the world. Do you use a Computer or laptop or a phone or a tablet, those all have transistors inside them and the makers use a microscope to put them inside. Without it, the periodic table would have never been discovered, the magnetic spectrum would have been a mystery, maybe we would still think that the earth was in the middle of everything. Maybe another Black Plague would happen again and we could have done nothing about that. The compound microscope is a big portion of life even though we don’t consider on being a scientist.


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