The Most Useful (or Important) Scientific Invention

Essay by geminemCollege, Undergraduate May 2004

download word file, 2 pages 4.2 2 reviews

The microscope is considered one of the most useful and important scientific inventions known to 'man'.

The microscope was invented by Anton van Leeuwenhoek during the seventeenth century. Leeuwenhoek was not a scientist by profession. Initally he made a living selling clothes and buttons, but spent his spare time grinding lenses and constructing microscopes of remarkable quality, such as the light microscope. The light microscope could magnify cells, for instance in plants so you could see a clearer and bigger picture of what they are made of.

Over the years, scientists improved on Anton van Leeuwenhoek's microscope by creating microscopes with higher magnifications and far better resolutions, so specimens examined had a sharper image. The latest improvement was the electron microscope, which uses electron beams instead of lamps or mirrors reflecting light like the light microscope. As a result, microscopes have made science today, appear to have more substance, inviting the interest of many young and even old minds.

Microscopes also provide the opportunity to identify unknown objects, judging from the various characteristics they may have, so they can be grouped or classed along with others. For instance, microscopes can differentiate between two cells, due to the presence or absence of contents they are supposed to contain. The electron microscope is usually used in such cases as it can magnify the internal structures of a cell where as the light microscope would just give an idea of how the structures are spaced in the cell and not necessarily their characteristics. As simple as this may seem, this differentiation can lead to the diagnosis of a disease that a person may have. This is the main reason why microscopes are so important and useful not only in medical research, but in survival of life as well. The identification of many...