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A businessman who made hundreds of microscopes -Leeuwenhoek-

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Leeuwenhoek was a Dutch trader and scientist, known as the father of optical microscopy. He first observed and described single-celled organisms, which he then called "animalcules", through a hand-built microscope. In addition, he is also the first scientist to record observations of blood flow in muscle fibers, bacteria, sperm, and microvessels. Leeuwenhoek observed his own semen and found sperm cells in it under a microscope. A new conclusion was reached that fertilization occurs when the sperm cell penetrates the egg.


While running his fabric shop, Van Leeuwenhoek wanted to see thread quality better than what could be achieved with the magnifying glasses of the day. Thus, he developed an interest in lens making. However, little is known about his early activities. Notably, in May 2021, a research team used neutron tomography to study the high-magnification Leeuwenhoek microscope. Ang discovered that Leeuwenhoek used a very special method to make glasses. This method needs to place the middle of a small piece of soda lime glass in a hot flame, the hot part can be pulled apart, forming two long glass whiskers. Then, by reinserting the end of a whisker into the flame, a very small, high-quality glass lens is formed. However, Leeuwenhoek seems to have deliberately concealed the technology, leading everyone to think that grinding lenses was the only way he made them.


Leeuwenhoek's work completely caught the attention of the Royal Society, and he began to correspond regularly with the society to discuss his observations. At first, he was reluctant to make his findings public, seeing himself as a businessman with little background in science, art, or writing. But DeGraff urged him to have more confidence in his work. By the time of his death in 1723, Leeuwenhoek had written 190 letters to the Royal Society detailing his discoveries in a wide range of fields, but focusing mainly on his work on microscopy. According to the statistics, he ground more than 500 lenses and made more than 400 microscopes in his lifetime, 9 of which are still in



One of the most famous achievemets in his life is the improvement of microscopy and the establishment of microbiology. Leeuwenhoek was voted the fourth greatest Dutchman in 2004. Leeuwenhoek is known for his pioneering work on microscopy and for his contribution to establishing microbiology as a scientific discipline.

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