For an explanation, see the main splats page
The principles of microscopy
- In 1610, Johann Kepler developed the basic modern arrangement for the compound microscope, which Leeuwenhoek would put into practice, at the end of the century.
- In 1658 Jan Swammerdam saw red blood cells under a microscope, described red corpuscles, lymphatic valves, and changes in the shape of muscles in contraction.
- 1665 Robert Hooke published his Micrographia, making microscopy popular, identifies cells, and also proposed that artificial silk may be made by extruding gum.
- In 1674 Anton van Leeuwenhoek invented the compound microscope, and then went on to discover and describe various Protozoa, bacteria, and rotifers.
- In 1722, Daniel Defoe made a casual reference to theories that plague was caused by microbes, too small to be seen without the aid of a lens or microscope.
- In 1830, Joseph Jackson Lister, the father of the more famous Joseph Lister, showed how compound lenses can correct for chromatic and spherical aberration.
- Medical practitioners may not need a microscope today, but microscopes were essential to medical researchers in the past as they sought the causes of diseases.
- Only a microscope would let researchers to examine the shape of bacteria, and to see which stains were absorbed by the cell wall of a suspicious bacterium.
- Only a microscope would let researchers to examine fine detail like a number of hairs on a mosquito's leg, and so identify a species that was a disease vector.
- Microscopes were also important to geologists, because it is easy to identify minerals in thin sections of rock with polarized light, filters, and a microscope.
- There is a limit to how much a microscope can magnify, which depends on the wavelength of the light used, and the size of the object being looked at.
- Because electrons behave in some ways like light, it is possible to make a microscope which uses electron beams instead of light to see very fine detail.
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