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  3. In the Beginning: History

Basics of Microscopes

History of Microscopes

In the Beginning

Around the 2nd century, people were aware that objects had the ability to be magnified when viewed through a lens. More than a thousand years later in the 13th century, Europeans began to use expensive convex lenses as magnifiers.

Lenses began to be widely used in the early 16th century, and the first prototype was invented by the end of it. Father and son Dutch spectacle makers, Hans and Zacharias Janssen built this prototype once they found that an object can be enlarged by combining two lenses.

* Origin of the word lens: The word "lens" comes from the lentil because the shape of a convex lens is similar to that of a lentil.

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