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How Does It Work?: Microscopes

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How incredible is it that two pieces of glass, a tube and some light can make what is too tiny to see visible?

Invented in the late 1500's by a Dutch glasses maker named Zacharias Janssen,the compound microscope has literally changed the way human beings see the world

.At the time when Zacharias was inventing, people were already using lens-es to see tiny objects better. These lenses are called simple microscopes. This device uses a single lens that is shaped to make an object appear larger when looked through. An example of a simple microscope is a magnifying glass. Zacharias searched for away to improve on simple microscopes. He wanted to enhance magnification to make something look many times larger and discovered that combining lenses in a tube could create powerful magnification.Things once unseen with the naked eye now became visible. This was an incredible breakthrough.

A lens collects light and focuses an image inside the tube. This is basically how a simple microscope works.In a compound microscope,a second lens magnifies the image (not the actual object). The magnified image appears upside down. A tube can have several lenses in it, each helping to make the magnified image larger.

Without the invention of the compound microscope,the most minute information about the world we live in would still remain a secret and modern science would not exist.

Important Parts of a Microscope:

The ocular lens is inside the eyepiece. It adds even more magnification when combined with lenses in the tube.The objectives hold different lenses for different levels of magnification, so a slide sample can be examined differently.Glass slides are placed on the stage for viewing.The mirror moves light through the lenses in the tubes.


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