The Need to See Essay

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5-3-12 English 1a The Need to “See”: The Development of Optics The creation of optics has transformed man-kind throughout hundreds of years. In the process of being developed and redeveloped, we have greatly improved our knowledge of how optics work. Our on-going development of optics has greatly enhanced our understanding of optics, light refraction through lenses, and the laws behind them. In this instance, the laws and theories behind light refraction are the contributing factors to the creation of optical lens and optics. The great minds behind the first accounts of light refraction through optical lenses are historically important and how optics progressed to present day, have aided the medical field, astronomers and the military. Optic use generally speaking, is the method of using lenses to enhance or magnify the vision of just a normal eye. A lens is a transparent reflecting medium that is usually curved. Some of the earliest lenses known to man are from the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians. The lenses used by the Egyptians were made from quartz. Egyptians refined the quarts and polished it to create a lens which was curved. Later on, archeologist discovered clear quartz discs at a Viking settlement in Sweden that dated back to 1000 AD. Many historians first believed that it was jewelry, but later it was found out to be sophisticated lenses that resembled ellipses. Keith Snyder comments, “These lenses were used for burning out wounds to prevent infection, light fires or as a magnifier for craftsmen” (Snyder). Advancing medicine has greatly improved the health of people worldwide. One of the underlying factors to the success of doctors and medicine is the microscope. According to J.C. Greenburg, “The first microscopes made things look 20 or 30 times larger than they are”(Greenburg). Today scientists have figured out how to improve and enhance

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