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Biology   >   Microscopy


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In this course, Dr Izzy Jayasinghe (University of Sheffield) talks to us about microscopy, one of the most ubiquitous forms of analysis in biology. Microscopes have prevailed in modern science since their first development in the late 16th century, often seen in both state-of-the-art laboratories and high-school classrooms. We begin by: (i) discussing their history and some of the problems that the first inventors faced with the first versions of microscopes; before (ii) introducing some of the physical rules that govern light microscopes, as well as looking at some of their features; and then finally (iii) take a look at some of the more modern techniques of microscopes that have enabled us to see much smaller objects, such as super-resolution and electron microscopes.


In the first mini-lecture, we are introduced to the field of microscopy by discussing its first steps. In this video we learn about the earliest versions of microscopes in the 16th century, and the inventors behind them. We discuss the work of Zacharius Janssen, Robert Hooke and his famous publication ‘Micrographia’, and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. To continue, we delve into the basic principles of microscopy, and how lenses (either working independently or in conjunction with other lenses) magnify light to high resolutions. The lecture then finishes with some of the properties that we observe within light microscopes, such as chromatic aberration and the tools we have available to minimise chromatic aberration and maximise resolution.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Jayasinghe, I. (2022, August 30). Microscopy - Overview [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Jayasinghe, I. "Microscopy – Overview." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 30 Aug 2022,


Dr Izzy Jayasinghe

Dr Izzy Jayasinghe

Sheffield University