The Microscope

28 Nov, 2013 500 Science

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the development of the microscope, an instrument which has revolutionised our knowledge of the world and the organisms that inhabit it. In the seventeenth century the pioneering work of two scientists, the Dutchman Antonie van Leeuwenhoek and Robert Hooke in England, revealed the teeming microscopic world that exists at scales beyond the capabilities of the naked eye. The microscope became an essential component of scientific enquiry by the nineteenth century, but in the 1930s a German physicist, Ernst Ruska, discovered that by using a beam of electrons he could view structures much tinier than was possible using visible light. Today light and electron microscopy are among the most powerful tools at the disposal of modern science, and new techniques are still being developed.

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  • Jim Bennett 11 episodes
    Visiting Keeper at the Science Museum in London
  • Sir Colin Humphreys No other episodes
    Professor of Materials Science and Director of Research at the University of Cambridge
  • Michelle Peckham No other episodes
    Professor of Cell Biology at the University of Leeds

Reading list

  • Sir Colin Humphreys at the University of Cambridge
  • Michelle Peckham at the University of Leeds
  • Royal Microscopical Society
  • Milestones timeline - Nature
  • Super-resolution microscopy - Nature
  • Milestones - Nature
  • Small Worlds - the art of the invisible
  • Super-Resolution Fluorescence Microscopy
  • Applications of Super-resolution STORM
  • Super-resolution microscopy at a glance
  • A guide to super-resolution fluorescence microscopy
  • Ernst Abbe
  • Ernst Abbe and the Foundation of Scientific Microscopes
  • Microscope - Wikipedia
  • Stuff: The Materials the World is Made Of
    Ivan Amato (Basic Books, 1998)
  • The Evolution of the Microscope
    S. Bradbury (Pergamon Press, 1967) Google Books →
  • The Coming of Materials Science
    R. W. Cahn (Pergamon, 2001) Google Books →
  • Early History of the Electron Microscope
    L. Marton (San Francisco Press, 1968) Google Books →
  • The Microscope in the Dutch Republic: The Shaping of Discovery
    Edward G. Ruestow (Cambridge University Press, 1996) Google Books →
  • Essays on the History of the Microscope
    Gerard Turner (Senecio, 1980) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 502 (Microscopy and microscopy)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello. One afternoon in January 1665, Samuel Pepys visited his favourite bookshop and on impulse bought a volume that took his fancy.