The microscope

The microscope: the history of an invention
The optical microscope and imaging techniques have enabled the infinitesimal considerable advances in the fields of biology and medicine. We propose to trace the history of this invention also has applications in the study of rocks and materials.


  • Presentation
  • The first magnifying instruments
  • The invention of the optical microscope
  • Advances in microscopy
The microscope: the history of an invention


microscope is an optical instrument for examining objects too small to be seen with the naked eye and observe the details. 
Similarly a magnifying glass, this instrument with a lens and a eyepiece can magnify the image of the objects observed. 
microscopes have applications in biology to observe cells and tissues, petrology (study of rocks), in metallurgy and metallography. 

The first magnifying instruments

At the end of the thirteenth century, magnifying glasses were used for vision correction. So we knew at that time cutting and polishing lenses, which allowed the invention of the telescope and the microscope. use of simple microscope (consisting of a single lens glass like a simple magnifying glass) in History Natural dated XIV century . invention of the compound microscope (consisting of two lens groups) goes about it in the late sixteenth century , but the authorship of this invention is controversial. 

The invention of the optical microscope

The invention of the microscope is usually attributed to the Dutch opticians Jansen father and son . They have built in1590 the first microscope consists of two convex lenses (one lens for magnification, the other eye). At the same time, in 1609, Galileo constructed a Occhiolino , a compound microscope convex lens and concave another. Note : the name "microscope" was formally established in 1645 by Demisiano. This invention has numerous discoveries, including that of the cell by Robert Hooke in 1665. In treated Micrographia (1667), Robert Hooke presented a three lens microscope glass cast that already present form, with a table for carrying the object, a system developed and a lighting system condenser consists of a hot water and a plano-convex lens. 

Advances in microscopy

The Dutchman Antoni van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) is generally acknowledged as the father of microscopy. It Mitdevelopment and use microscopes to perform many simple observations. 
He was thus one of the first to describe bacteria and protozoa to detect blood and blood circulation in the legs of a frog and observe the fibers nerve cells of the epidermis. At the end of the seventeenth century, Christiaan Huygens , another Dutchman, developed a simple two ocular lenses to correct chromatic aberrations, which represented a major advance in the development of the microscope. However, it took until the nineteenth century that the microscopes are sophisticated and allow multiple discoveries, including that of the cell nucleus by Brown in 1831, the cell division or that pathogens (which led to the invention of the first vaccines). leprosy bacilli have been discovered by Hansen in 1874, those of tuberculosis by Koch in 1882 and those of plague by Yersin in 1894. 


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