Neutrons unlock the secrets and techniques of Antonie van Leeuwenhoek’s microscopes



Enlarge / First microscope by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. (credit score: Tetra Photographs/Getty)
Within the late 17th century, a Dutch draper and self-taught scientist named Antonie van Leeuwenhoek earned renown for constructing a number of the greatest microscopes obtainable, at a time when the instrument was simply starting to revolutionize scientific inquiry. He hardly ever divulged his lens-making strategies, nevertheless, resulting in centuries of hypothesis as to how he achieved such superior magnifications.
Now neutron tomography has enabled scientists at TU Delft within the Netherlands to see inside van Leeuwenhoek’s microscopes for the very first time. A brand new paper printed within the journal Science Advances reveals that, removed from requiring his personal secret lens-crafting technique, van Leeuwenhoek was a grasp craftsman who was in a position to obtain his extraordinary magnifications by honing and perfecting the standard lens manufacturing strategies of his period.
It is not completely clear who invented the primary bona fide microscope, however contenders for the declare embrace a late 16th century Dutch maker of spectacles named Zacharias Janssen, a neighboring rival spectacle producer named Hans Lippershey, and a Dutch engineer and inventor named Cornelis Drebbel. Galileo famous the fundamental precept someday after 1610, and constructed his personal compound microscope after seeing certainly one of Drebbel’s devices on show in Rome in 1624. He dubbed it the “occhiolino” or “little eye.” Learn 14 remaining paragraphs | Feedback



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