Microscopes and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Essay

Microscopes and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek Essay

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Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was a scientist and was best known for his contributions to microbiology; he received the title of "the Father of Microbiology” and dedicated many years of his life to improve the microscope in order to attain incredible heights of precision of the microscopic lenses. He produced magnifications from up to 275X, with a resolving power of up to 1.4 µm. Moreover, he presented his findings from the material of animals and vegetables in extraordinary detail as well as being the first to observe a glimpse of bacteria that he found in water; the first illustration of the bacteria is demonstrated in a representation by Leeuwenhoek in the 1683 “Philosophical Transactions” publication. In this publication, Leeuwenhoek wrote to the Royal Society about his observations of the inside of an old man’s mouth. He found "an unbelievably great company of living animalcules [Latin for ‘little animals’], a-swimming more nimbly than any I had ever seen up to this time. The biggest sort... bent their body into curves in going forwards. . . Moreover, the other animalcules were in such enormous numbers, that all the water... seemed to be alive." These were among the first observations on living bacteria ever recorded.
In this essay, I will be explaining the unexpected signs of life that Leeuwenhoek found in a single droplet of rainwater which he described as ‘little animals’. He had witnessed bacteria and protozoa, laying the foundations for the sciences of bacteriology and protozoology. Leeuwenhoek also found ‘little animals’ in other bodies of water, including lakes, and on the surface of pepper and teeth. Additionally, with regards to the essay, I will also begin to identify the new and useful information established in Leeuwen...


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...e wrote in October 9, 1676: "Observations concerning various little Animals, in great numbers discover'd by Mr. Leeuwenhoek in Rain- Well- Sea- and Snow-water; as also in water wherein Pepper had lain infused."
Leeuwenhoek was persistent on working and writing his observations until even moments before approaching the time of his death. After he died on August 30, 1723, a letter was written to the Royal society by the pastor of the New Church at Delft who stated that:
“... Antony van Leeuwenhoek considered that what is true in natural philosophy can be most fruitfully investigated by the experimental method, supported by the evidence of the senses; for which reason, by diligence and tireless labour he made with his own hand certain most excellent lenses, with the aid of which he discovered many secrets of Nature, now famous throughout the whole philosophical World.”

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