Microscope was invented by the Dutch merchant Antoni van Levenguk (1632-1723), but the device he created was not very similar to the one now known. The Levenguks microscope looked like a tiny magnifier mounted in a metal plate the size of a postage stamp. The object of research Levenguk pinned on a pin or glued to the wedge, and focused the screw. Sometimes it was impossible to fix the object and Levenguk made a rigid construction, on which it was possible to observe only one single object. The number of Levenguk microscopes was calculated in hundreds: often the microscope and the object were a single whole. With such simple devices, Levenguk made remarkable discoveries: he described red blood cells, the structure of smooth muscles, dentin teeth, the lens of the eye, and also discovered spermatozoa of humans and animals, studied the structure of ciliates and rotifers, found a difference in the structure of the stems of single- and dicotyledonous plants.

Microscope invented by Dutch merchant Antoni van Levenguk

After the death of a scientist, 257 of his microscopes were auctioned and bought mainly by the Dutch, and 26 microscope Levenguk bequeathed to the Royal Society of London. But by the beginning of the 19th century only 9 of them survived, and the fate of the others is unknown. Disappearing microscopes are notable not only from a historical point of view. These tools allowed you to achieve amazingly large increases: 100-200 times! And one microscope, which is now in Utrecht University, gives an increase of 270-300 times!

The resolution of a microscope is the ability to produce a clear separate image of two closely spaced points of the object. The degree of penetration into the microcosm, the possibilities of its study depend on the resolving power of the device. This characteristic is determined primarily by the wavelength of the radiation used in the microscopy (visible, ultraviolet, X-ray radiation). The fundamental limitation is the impossibility of obtaining, by means of electromagnetic radiation, an image of an object smaller in size than the wavelength of this radiation.