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What did Zacharias Janssen invent?

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Quick Answer

Zacharias Janssen invented the first compound microscope. Zacharias and his father, Hans, originally made eyeglasses, or spectacles, but Hans Janssen may have contributed to his son's invention. Although the first microscopes Janssen made were crude by modern-day standards, they did lead to the development of better scientific instruments.

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What did Zacharias Janssen invent?
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Full Answer

The first compound microscopes developed by Zacharias Janssen in the 1590s were hulks compared to modern-day versions. The tripod itself measured more than two feet in height. The actual instrument was a tube equipped with two lenses, a convex lens at one end and a concave one at the other. One lens bent the light; the other magnified the image.

The first microscopes only magnified images between three and nine times the size of the actual object. More than half a century would pass before the compound microscope would be in widespread use in the scientific community.


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    Who were Hans and Zacharias Janssen?

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    Hans and Zacharias Janssen were a Dutch father and son accredited with the creation of the first microscope. Both lived in the Netherlands and were working with each other as spectacle makers.

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    Who invented the microscope?

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    Zacharias Janssen is the Dutch spectacle maker who is widely credited as the inventor of the first compound microscope. Although many of the archives surrounding Janssen's invention have been lost, historians believe that Zacharias and his father Hans invented the first microscope at some point in the 1590s.

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    Who invented the first microscope?

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    The first compound microscope, using two or more lenses to create a magnification of 9X, was developed by the Dutch eyeglass maker Zaccharias Janssen and his father Hans around 1590. Prior to this, only single-lens magnifying glasses, commonly known as flea glasses, were available.

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    Where did Zacharias Janssen live?

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    Zacharias Janssen lived in Middleburg in the Netherlands from 1580 - 1638 according to History of the Microscope. He was a spectacle maker who is credited for inventing the first compound microscope. Since the achievement was thought to have occurred in the 1590s, some suggest that Janssen's father contributed to the discovery of the microscope. It is still debatable as to whether or not Janssen also invented the telescope.

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