Tools Request permission Export citation Add to favorites Track citation.
Share Give access Share full text access. Share full text access. Please review our Terms and Conditions of Use and check box below to share full-text version of article. Get access to the full version of this article. View access options below.
You previously purchased this article through ReadCube. Institutional Login. Log in to Wiley Online Library. Purchase Instant Access. View Preview. Learn more Check out. Micrographia became an overnight sensation not just for what he described but for the superb drawings that he made.
He described a new world alongside exquisite drawings of the stinging hairs on a nettle, a flea and, most famously of all, the honeycomb structure or "cells" of a cork. It was Hooke who coined the term "cells" when describing living tissue. Interestingly, while Hooke did use a compound microscope, he found that it much strained and weakened his sight. For his Micrographia, he preferred to use a simple, single lens microscope made of gold and leather and illuminated by a candle.
Perhaps the first light microscope? It was Leeuwenhoek, however, who lived at the same time as Hooke and drew on Hooke's work to take microscope design to new levels of sophistication. As a draper, he used a simple microscope to examine cloth. As a scientist, he began to experiment with new ways of grinding lenses in order to improve the optical quality.
In total, he ground some lenses, some of which had a linear magnifying power of and a resolving power of one-millionth of an inch - an astounding achievement. Leeuwenhoek detailed these achievements in almost letters to The Royal Society in London where no less a person than Robert Hooke validated them. The result of all this work was a simple, single lens, hand-held microscope. The specimen was mounted on the top of the pointer, above which lay a convex lens attached to a metal holder. The specimen was then viewed through a hole on the other side of the microscope and was focused using a screw.
This was for me, among all the marvels that I have discovered in nature, the most marvelous of all; and I must say, for my part, that no more pleasant sight has every yet come before my eyes that these many thousand of living creatures seen all alive in a little drop of water, moving among one another, each several creature having its own proper motion.
He had discovered bacteria. He had earned his title of the Father of the Microscope. Interestingly, it took until , nearly two hundred years later, before cells were finally acknowledged as the basic units of life. The next major step in the history of the microscope occurred another years later with the invention of the achromatic lens by Charles Hall , in the s. He discovered that by using a second lens of different shape and refracting properties, he could realign colors with minimal impact on the magnification of the first lens.
Then in , Joseph Lister solved the problem of spherical aberration light bends at different angles depending on where it hits the lens by placing lenses at precise distances from each other.
Combined, these two discoveries contributed towards a marked improvement in the quality of image. Previously, due to the poor quality of glass and imperfect lens, microscopists had been viewing nothing but distorted images - somewhat like the first radios were extremely crackly. It is worth remembering that up until now, each new stride has been in the quality or application of the lenses.
Then, in , one of the several new manufacturers of microscopes, the Ernst Leitz company, addressed a mechanical issue with the introduction of the first revolving turret with no less than five objectives. This improvement was quickly followed in when Carl Zeiss recruited Ernst Abbe as his director of research at the Zeiss Optical Works.
Abbe laid out the framework of what would become the modern computational optics development approach. He made clear the difference between magnification and resolution and criticized the practice of using eyepieces with too high a magnification as "empty magnification. Abbe Condenser : Abbe's work on a wave theory of microscopic imaging the Abbe Sine Condition made possible the development of a new range of seventeen microscope objectives - three of these were the first immersion objectives and all were designed based on mathematical modeling.
As Abbe noted, his creations were "based on a precise study of the materials used, the designs concerned are specified by computation to the last detail - every curvature, every thickness, every aperture of a lens - so that any trial and error approach is excluded. From here on, microscopes were designed based on sound laws of physics rather than the trial and error that had characterized the pioneers. At the same time, a number of companies set up specialized manufacturing plants focused on manufacturing precision microscopes.
Research and development continued to bear fruit. In , the first microtomes began to be used that enabled significantly thinner samples to be prepared in order to improve sample. In , another Zeiss employee, August Kohler figured out an unparalleled illumination system that is still known as Kohler illumination. Using double diaphragms, the system provides triple benefits of a uniformly illuminated specimen, a bright image and minimal glare.
In other words, Kohler achieved an almost perfect image. The mass market for microscopes had arrived at the same time as precision engineering and it is little wonder that a plethora of stunning results were obtained: In , Walter Flemming discovered cell mitosis and chromosomes, an achievement recognized as one of the most important scientific achievements of all time.
UV and Phase: By , the theoretic limit of resolution for visible light microscopes angstroms had been reached. In , Zeiss overcame this limitation with the introduction the first commercial UV microscope with resolution twice that of a visible light microscope. In Fritz Zernike discovered he could view unstained cells using the phase angle of rays.
Spurned by Zeiss, his phase contrast innovation was not introduced until although he went on to win a Nobel Prize for his work in Electron Microscopes: In Max Knoll and Ernst Ruska invented the first electron microscope that blasted past the optical limitations of the light. View Preview. Learn more Check out.
Related Information. Close Figure Viewer. Browse All Figures Return to Figure. Previous Figure Next Figure. Email or Customer ID. Forgot password? Old Password. New Password. Password Changed Successfully Your password has been changed. Returning user.