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Encyclopedia > Anton van Leeuwenhoek
Anton van Leeuwenhoek
Anton van Leeuwenhoek

Anton van Leeuwenhoek (October 24, 1632 - August 30, 1723, full name Thonius Philips van Leeuwenhoek (pronounced 'Layewenhook') was a Dutch tradesman and scientist from Delft, Netherlands. He was known as "the Father of Microbiology". Born the son of a basket maker, at age 16 he secured an apprenticeship with a Scottish cloth merchant in Amsterdam. He is best known for his contribution to the improvement of the microscope and for his contributions towards the establishment of microbiology. Using his handcrafted microscopes he was the first to observe and describe single celled organisms which he first referred to as animalcules, and which we now refer to as microorganisms. He was also the first to record microscopic observations of muscle fibers, bacteria, spermatozoa and blood flow in capillaries (small blood vessels). resized; from http://wwwihm. ... resized; from http://wwwihm. ... October 24 is the 297th day of the year (298th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 68 days remaining. ... See also: 1632 (novel) Events February 22 - Galileos Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems is published July 23 - 300 colonists for New France depart Dieppe November 8 - Wladyslaw IV Waza elected king of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth after Zygmunt III Waza death November 16 - Battle of Lützen... August 30 is the 242nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (243rd in leap years), with 123 days remaining. ... Events February 16 - Louis XV of France attains his majority Births February 24 - John Burgoyne, British general (d. ... Albert Einstein is almost without question, currently the most widely recognized scientist among the general public. ... Delft is a city in South Holland (Zuid-Holland), the Netherlands, located halfway between Rotterdam and The Hague (Den Haag). ... The following tables list men and women described as father or mother of something. ... It has been suggested that microscopy be merged into this article or section. ... Microbiology is the study of microorganisms, which are unicellular or cell-cluster microscopic organisms. ... A top-down view of skeletal muscle Muscle is the contractile tissue of the body and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. ... Phyla/Divisions Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Omnibacteria Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular, bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... A spermatozoon or spermatozoan ( spermatozoa), from the ancient Greek σπερμα (seed) and ζων (alive) and more commonly known as a sperm cell, is the haploid cell that is the male gamete. ... Human blood smear: a - erythrocytes; b - neutrophil; c - eosinophil; d - lymphocyte. ... Capillaries are the smallest of a bodys blood vessels, measuring 5-10 μm. ... The arterial system The blood vessels are part of the circulatory system and function to transport blood throughout the body. ...


Van Leeuwenhoek's early discoveries in the field of microbiology can be likened to Galileo's early discoveries in the field of astronomy. Both men used the newly improved optical technologies of their day to make major discoveries that entirely overturned traditional beliefs and theories in their respective fields, and both men were initially met with strong skepticism and resistance to the inevitable conclusions that their discoveries led to. Ultimately van Leeuwenhoek was more fortunate than Galileo in that his discoveries were eventually widely accepted and applauded in his lifetime, whereas Galileo's were not. Galileo Galilei Galileo Galilei (Pisa, February 15, 1564 – Arcetri, January 8, 1642), was an Italian physicist, astronomer, and philosopher who is closely associated with the scientific revolution. ... Lunar astronomy: the large crater is Daedalus, photographed by the crew of Apollo 11 as they circled the Moon in 1969. ...


During his lifetime van Leeuwenhoek ground over 500 optical lenses. He also created over 400 different types of microscopes, only nine of which still exist today. His microscopes were made of silver or copper metal frames holding hand-ground lenses. Those that survived the years are able to magnify up to 270 times. It is suspected, though, that van Leeuwenhoek possessed some microscopes that could magnify up to 500 times. General Name, Symbol, Number silver, Ag, 47 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 5, d Appearance lustrous white metal Atomic mass 107. ... General Name, Symbol, Number copper, Cu, 29 Chemical series transition metals Group, Period, Block 11, 4, d Appearance metallic brown Atomic mass 63. ... Hot metal work from a blacksmith Look up Metal in Wiktionary, the free dictionary In chemistry, a metal (Greek: Metallon) is an element that readily forms ions (cations) and has metallic bonds, and metals are sometimes described as a lattice of positive ions (cations) surrounded by a sea of delocolised... A lens. ...


Early involvement with the microscope

In 1648 in Amsterdam van Leeuwenhoek saw his first simple microscope, a magnifying glass mounted on a small stand used by textile merchants capable of magnifying to a power of 3. He soon acquired one for his own use. In 1654, he left Amsterdam, moved back to Delft and started his own lucrative drapery business there. In 1660, he was appointed chamberlain of the Lord Regents of Delft. It is believed that soon after 1665 he read a book by Robert Hooke, titled Micrographia. His reading of Hooke's book is believed to have roused an interest in van Leeuwenhoek to use his microscopes for the purpose of investigating the natural world beyond the mere quality of the fabrics he sold. In 1669 he obtained a degree in geography, leading to his later appointment as geographer in 1679. // Events January 17 - Englands Long Parliament passes the Vote of No Address, breaking off negotiations with King Charles I and thereby setting the scene for the second phase of the English Civil War. ... Events April 5 - Signing of the Treaty of Westminster, ending the First Anglo-Dutch War. ... Drapery refers to cloth or textiles (Latin drappus = cloth and Old French drap) or the trade of selling cloth. ... Events Expulsion of the Carib indigenous people from Martinique by French occupying forces. ... A schepen (pl. ... Events March 4 - Start of the Second Anglo-Dutch War. ... A portrait, claimed by historian Lisa Jardine to be of Robert Hooke Robert Hooke, FRS (July 18, 1635 - March 3, 1703) was an English polymath who played an important role in the scientific revolution, through both experimental and theoretical work. ... Hookes drawing of a flea Micrographia is a historical book by Robert Hooke, detailing the then twenty-eight year-old Hookes observations through various lenses. ... // Events Samuel Pepys stopped writing his diary. ... A degree is any of a wide range of status levels conferred by institutions of higher education, such as universities, normally as the result of successfully completing a program of study. ... A geographer is a crazy psycho whose area of study is geocrap, the pseudoscientific study of Earths physical environment and human habitat and the study of boring students to death. ... Events January 24 - King Charles II of England disbands Parliament August 7 - The brigantine Le Griffon, which was commissioned by René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle, is towed to the southern end of the Niagara River, to become the first ship to sail the upper Great Lakes. ...


Leeuwenhoek's interest in microscopes and a familiarity with glass processing led to one of the most significant, and simultaneously well-hidden, technical insights in the history of science. By placing the middle of a small rod of lime glass in a hot flame, Leeuwenhoek could pull the hot section apart like taffy to create two long whiskers of glass. By then reinserting the end of one whisker into the flame, he could create a very small, high-quality glass sphere. These spheres became the lenses of his microscopes, with the smallest spheres providing the highest magnifications. An experienced businessman, Leeuwenhoek realized that if his simple method for creating the critically important lens was revealed, the scientific community of his time would likely disregard or even forget his role in microscopy. He therefore allowed others to believe that he was laboriously spending most of his nights and free time grinding increasingly tiny lenses to use in microscopes, even though this belief conflicted both with his construction of hundreds of microscopes and his habit of building a new microscope whenever he chanced upon and interesting specimen that he wanted to preserve.


Leeuwenhoek made good use of the huge lead provided by his method. He studied a broad range of microscopic phenomena, and shared the resulting observations freely with groups such as the English Royal Society. Such work firmly established his place in history as one of the first and most important explorers of the microscopic world. With regards to the construction of his microscopes, however, Leeuwenhoek maintained throughout his life that there were aspects of their construction "which I only keep for myself," including in particular his most critical secret of how he created lenses. The premises of the Royal Society in London (first four properties only). ...


Eventual recognition by the English Royal Society

After developing his method for creating powerful lenses and applying them to a thorough study of the microscopic world, Leeuwenhoek was introduced via correspondence to the English Royal Society by the famous Dutch Physician Regnier de Graaf. He soon began to send copies of his recorded microscopic observations to the Royal Society. In 1673 his earliest observations were published by the Royal Society in its journal: Philosophical Transactions. Amongst these published observations were Van Leeuwenhoek's accounts of bee mouthparts and stings... . The premises of the Royal Society in London (first four properties only). ... Physician examining a child A physician is a person who practices medicine. ... Regnier de Graaf Regnier de Graaf (b. ... Events January 22 - Impostor Mary Carleton is hanged in Newgate prison in England for multiple thefts and returning from penal transportation March 18 - John Berkeley, 1st Baron Berkeley of Stratton sells his part of New Jersey to the Quakers. ... The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, or , is the oldest scientific journal printed in the English-speaking world, and was only three months shy of being the oldest in the world. ...


Despite the initial success of Van Leeuwenhoek's relationship with the Royal Society, this relationship was soon severely strained. In 1676 his credibility was questioned when he sent the Royal Society a copy of his first observations of microscopic life forms. Heretofore, the existence of such life forms was entirely unknown. Thus, even with his established reputation with the Royal Society as a reliable observer, his observations of microscopic life were initially met with skepticism. Nevertheless Van Leeuwenhoek remained undaunted, and continued to insist to the Royal Society that his observations were accurate, true and valid. He also continued his microscopic investigations without interruption. Eventually, in the face of Van Leeuwenhoek's insistence, the Royal Society arranged to send an English vicar, as well as a team of respected jurists and doctors to Delft, Holland to determine whether it was in fact Van Leeuwenhoek's drinking habits, or perhaps the Royal Society's theories of life that might require reform. Finally in 1680, Van Leeuwenhoek's observations were fully vindicated by the Society Events January 29 - Feodor III becomes Tsar of Russia First measurement of the speed of light, by Ole Rømer Bacons Rebellion Russo-Turkish Wars commence. ... Events First Portuguese governor was appointed to Macau The Swedish city Karlskrona was founded as the Royal Swedish Navy relocated there. ...


Van Leeuwenhoek's vindication resulted in his appointment as a member of the Royal Society in that year. After his appointment to the Society, he wrote approximately 560 letters to the Society and other scientific institutions over a period of 50 years. These letters dealt with the subjects he had investigated.


Amongst Van Leeuwenhoek's many discoveries are: In 1674 he discovered infusoria (dated zoölogical category,) in 1676 he discovered bacteria, in 1677 he discovered spermatozoi and in 1682 he discovered the banded pattern of muscular fibers. Events February 19 - England and the Netherlands sign the Treaty of Westminster. ... Zoology (Greek zoon = animal and logos = word) is the biological discipline which involves the study of animals. ... Events January 29 - Feodor III becomes Tsar of Russia First measurement of the speed of light, by Ole Rømer Bacons Rebellion Russo-Turkish Wars commence. ... Subgroups Actinobacteria Aquificae Bacteroidetes/Chlorobi Chlamydiae/Verrucomicrobia Chloroflexi Chrysiogenetes Cyanobacteria Deferribacteres Deinococcus-Thermus Dictyoglomi Fibrobacteres/Acidobacteria Firmicutes Fusobacteria Gemmatimonadetes Nitrospirae Planctomycetes Proteobacteria Spirochaetes Thermodesulfobacteria Thermomicrobia Thermotogae Bacteria (singular: bacterium) are a major group of living organisms. ... Events First performance of Racines tragedy, Phèdre Sarah Churchill marries John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough Battle of Cassel, Philippe I of Orléans defeats William of Orange Mary II of England marries William of Orange English Statute of frauds is passed into law Battle of Landskrona Elias... A spermatozoon or spermatozoan ( spermatozoa), from the ancient Greek σπερμα (seed) and ζων (alive) and more commonly known as a sperm cell, is the haploid cell that is the male gamete. ... Events March 11 – Chelsea hospital for soldiers is founded in England May 6 - Louis XIV of France moves his court to Versailles. ... A top-down view of skeletal muscle Muscle is the contractile tissue of the body and is derived from the mesodermal layer of embryonic germ cells. ...


He died at the age of 90, on August 30, 1723 at Delft. August 30 is the 242nd day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (243rd in leap years), with 123 days remaining. ... Events February 16 - Louis XV of France attains his majority Births February 24 - John Burgoyne, British general (d. ... Delft is a city in South Holland (Zuid-Holland), the Netherlands, located halfway between Rotterdam and The Hague (Den Haag). ...


Possible Vermeer connection

Van Leeuwenhoek was a contemporary of that other famous Delft citizen, painter Johannes Vermeer, who was baptized just four days earlier. It has been suggested that he is the man portrayed in two of Vermeer's paintings of the late 1660s, The astronomer and The geographer. Because they were both relatively important men in a city with only 24,000 inhabitants, it is possible that they were at least acquaintances. Also, it is known that Van Leeuwenhoek acted as the executor when the painter died in 1675. However, others argue that there appears to be little physical similarity[1]. Milkmaid (1658-1660) This article is about the Dutch painter. ... An executor is a person named by a maker of a will to carry out the directions of the will. ...


  Results from FactBites:
 
Anton van Leeuwenhoek Summary (5395 words)
Van Leeuwenhoek's curiosity was insatiable, and he examined everything he could with his microscopes, ranging from samples of about 200 biological species to mineral objects; he even attempted to observe the explosion of gunpowder.
Van Leeuwenhoek's early discoveries in the field of microbiology can be likened to Galileo's early discoveries in the field of astronomy.
Amongst Van Leeuwenhoek's many discoveries are: In 1674 he discovered infusoria (dated zoölogical category,) in 1676 he discovered bacteria, in 1677 he discovered spermatozoa and in 1682 he discovered the banded pattern of muscular fibers.
Anton van Leeuwenhoek - Facts, Information, and Encyclopedia Reference article (1317 words)
Van Leeuwenhoek's early discoveries in the field of microbiology can be likened to Galileo's early discoveries in the field of astronomy.
Eventually, in the face of van Leeuwenhoek's insistence, the Royal Society arranged to send an English vicar, as well as a team of respected jurists and doctors to Delft, Holland to determine whether it was in fact van Leeuwenhoek's drinking habits, or perhaps the Royal Society's theories of life that might require reform.
Amongst van Leeuwenhoek's many discoveries are: In 1674 he discovered infusoria (dated zoölogical category,) in 1676 he discovered bacteria, in 1677 he discovered spermatozoi and in 1682 he discovered the banded pattern of muscular fibers.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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