Who Made the First Microscope?

Who made the first microscope?

It’s unclear who made the first microscope, but Zacharias Janssen, a Dutch spectacle maker is acknowledged for crafting one of the earliest compound microscopes. This compound microscope used two lenses and could magnify specimens up to 20x or 30x their actual size.

The History of Early Microscopes

The early microscopes made by Zacharias Janssen were compound microscopes that used at least two lenses. The objective lens was placed close to the specimen to produce an image that was picked up and further magnified by the second lens, the eyepiece. Such telescopes were capable of magnifying 3x to 9x the actual size.

Later on, different scientists came in and made remarkable improvements to the first compound microscope.

In 1609 Galileo Galilei made an improvement on the first compound microscope design. He developed a compound microscope with both convex and concave lens. His telescope was celebrated in the Accademia dei Lincei in the year 1624 and was then given the name microscope a year later.

Later on, Cornelius Drebbel designed and made telescopes and microscopes in 1619. Two years later, Cornelius Drebbel became a prominent scientist after he developed a microscope with two convex lenses. This was a huge development in the world of microscopes.

In the late 17th century, another Dutchman by the name of Christian Huygens made a simple 2-lens ocular system that was achromatically corrected. This was another big milestone in microscope development. This ocular lens is still produced to the present day, but it has the drawback of having a small field size.

All the compound microscopes designed by all the scientists were limited to 30x to 50x magnifications. The images also exhibited blurred edges and rainbow-like distortions. This made them less efficient and unreliable.

The Evolution of Microscopes

Van Leeuwenhoek’s interest in microscopes led to multiple notable improvements. He made high-quality glass spheres that he could use as the lenses of his microscopes. He also made the first microscope that used only one magnifying lens. At that time, the single-lens microscope was way better than the compound microscope. It has a strong magnification of up to 500x in comparison with the less than 50x found in compound microscopes. The high magnification strength let Van Leeuwenhoek see detailed images.

Today, there have been multiple technological advancements in the world of microscopes. The market offers a wide range of microscopes ranging from optical to electron microscopes.

Simple microscopes use a single lens for magnification and light waves. Optical microscopes are easy to use, reliable, and affordable. They have smaller magnification power compared with electron microscopes.

An electron microscope produces an electronically-magnified image of the specimen you are observing. It uses a beam of electrons to make the specimen bright and create a magnified image of it. This microscope can achieve magnifications as high as 2 million times, while a light microscope only achieves up to 2000x. An electron microscope also features higher resolution which you can use to even image an atom or the tiniest biological specimens.

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