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What is a binocular microscope used for?

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Quick Answer

A binocular microscope is any microscope that possesses two eyepieces for viewing a subject that needs to be studied at a high degree of magnification. Binocular microscopes are commonly used in educational and laboratory settings.

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The inventor of the world's first microscope is unknown and debated. The Romans are believed to have experimented with using glass to magnify the appearance of objects, though no specific person is credited with the invention.

In 1595, Zacharias Jansen and his father developed and produced the world's first compound microscope by placing several magnifying glass lenses into a tube. They noticed that this caused objects viewed through the makeshift device to appear much larger than they actually were. These microscopes were not very powerful when compared to modern microscopes, offering only a 9x magnification when fully extended. Objects observed through them were slightly blurry, which minimized their value as a scientific instrument.

However, Anton van Leeuwenhoek was the first person to create a microscope that could be used for scientific purposes in the late 17th century. Specially cutting and polishing 550 lenses allowed him to observe a magnification of 270x. Other microscopes of the time could only magnify objects to 50x. Van Leeuwenhoek's superior microscope helped him make many important biological discoveries.

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