Meet the most powerful optical microscopes in the world

Through technological advances, various types of microscopes have been created, ranging from the optical microscope to the phase contrast microscope. The most powerful optical microscope in the world was created in 2011 by scientists from the United Kingdom. Who developed a microscope with the ability to directly examine the interior of the human cell.

The most powerful microscope in the world

Scientists from the city of Luxembourg have combined the traditional light microscope with a novel technique to create the most powerful light microscope in the world. Which has a high resolution analysis capacity. In addition, it is capable of producing images one hundred thousand times smaller than the thickness of a human hair.

The purpose of this invention is to be able to study in detail the components of human cells. Likewise, British scientists assure that through this instrument the behavior of viruses can be observed in vivo. Providing the opportunity to create products that are more beneficial to human health.

This great technological advance occurs through the manipulation of light. Let us remember that the optical microscope is characterized by visible light which allows the sample to be observed. However, the magnification of the sample is limited by the size of the light waves.

THE world's most powerful light microscope captures evanescent waves and amplifies them through spherical glass particles. It should be noted that before this discovery, only a micrometer could be seen clearly in traditional microscopes. Currently, with this tool developed by engineers from the University of Manchester, it reduces it to 50 nanometers.

The use of glass beads is the key to this technological innovation. Well, they are responsible for gathering light and redirecting it to a standard microscope. In this way, it reaches a resolution that surpasses all the records of optical microscopy.

Transmission electron microscope

This has the resolution capacity of 43 picometres, which is half the radius of most atoms. The technology entrepreneur Japanese Hitachi, began the development of this microscope in 2010.

Unlike the optical microscope, this one uses electrons instead of photons, which increases the possibility of studying atomic composition and structure. Since, the electrons pass through the sample and subsequently impact simultaneously on a photographic plate.

This room-sized mechanism is housed in a research facility at Osaka University. Where they also managed to reduce the effect of external factors that cause irregularities in the lens. Through the use of acoustic damping materials and the installation of magnetic barriers, reducing the negative impact of vibrations.

The optical observation of atoms is now possible thanks to this device, which will contribute to the development of new materials.

What are microscopes used for?

The microscope was born in 1590 at the hands of Zacharias Janssen, a lens manufacturer of Dutch origin. It is made up of lenses that allow an increased vision of an object through refraction.

With this mechanism the characteristics of extremely small bodies or objects can be studied. For this reason, its use has been used in the field of medicine since 1965.William Harvey used it in the study of blood cells, and thanks to the microscope the study of microbiology began.

Microbiology is a branch of biology that studies the behavior of microscopic beings. With the aim of designing mechanisms that protect human life. The microscope is a very useful tool in various fields.

An example is the pharmaceutical industry because it is an indispensable instrument to create and develop drugs, since through it the biochemical action of the drug is observed. In the chemical industry it is used to examine the composition of a mineral sample.

For its part, in botany it is used to study the development of the plant cell. Similarly, in electronics microscopes are used during the creation of microcomponents.

How does the light microscope work?

This is based on the property of materials that allow the direction of light rays to be changed. Therefore, it allows the elaboration of lenses that can converge or diverge the rays, generating an enlarged image of the sample.

These lenses are mounted one on the objective and one on the eyepiece. In this way, the lenses that are in the objective generate the real magnified image of the sample. While the lens that is in the eyepiece enlarges it, giving a virtual image larger than the sample.

Another essential element in the optical microscope is light. For this reason, they are equipped with a light source and a condenser to focus a beam of light on the sample. This tool increases the observation capacity, to the level that allows us to perform particle analysis.

Also, there are other types of microscopes, for example, the scanning electron microscope, just like the transmission microscope uses electrons. But instead of impacting on the photographic plate simultaneously, it does so from different points. Obtaining the information through the changes, measuring the data thrown.

The fluorescence microscope generates an image through the fluorescent properties in the sample. Said sample is handled through gases, unlike the aforementioned microscopes, this one does not use the traditional light beam.

In conclusion, the microscope has played an important role in the advancement of various sciences, especially medicine. It is an instrument that remains at the forefront. Evolved over time, adapting to the needs of scientists and researchers.

Using glass beads to increase sample size is a great advance, but it's not over yet. According to researchers at the University of Manchester, this is just the beginning. Since in theory there is no size limit on what can be observed.


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