I remembered during my childhood when I read a book about how cell was discovered in the shell of onions by one of the scientists, I took a closer look at the book chapters to see the procedure specified in the discovery, until I reached a line that specified microscope as one of the apparatus then I began to ask myself what is Microscope? How does it look like? And how can I get one because I really want to discover the cell myself with the onion’s cell I had peeled off from the onions meant for cooking in the kitchen, it did not take me a whole day to find myself into a physics book known as “project physics” which clearly explained microscope to me and its parts and functions.
The good thing I loved in the book was the ability of making me to believe that a good magnifying glass could give me exactly what I can get in microscopes though not in doubt as a kid at 11 years old still in junior secondary one and having very little knowledge about science, I started finding way to get access to any material that has magnifying glass.
The miracle came the day I saw a used and thrown reading glasses in a dump site along my school path, I quickly took it and put it into my school bag and noticed the amazed look from my peers wondering what I want to use a damaged reading glass to do, I just assumed nothing happened by not uttering a word in regard to my action, rather I quickly initiated a different discussion to divert the attention that was focused at me.
I woke up very early on a Saturday morning to start washing the magnifying glasses that I just pulled out from the reading spec, it was as though I was just doing some children stuff, but my intention was to implement what I read in that physics book about microscopes and magnifying glasses.
After the washing was done I tested the visibility by looking through it and see how visible the magnified objects are, with that I was ready to make my first microscope.
I also remembered reading a chapter in the same book that said “GALILEO” one of the great scientist discovered the rotation of the earth and some related discoveries about the earth through the use of telescope, which I researched and discovered that the magnifying glasses is also among the components of telescope. So my own discoveries had just began.
When I took my plastic transparent ruler to check the diameter of the magnifying glasses they were about 45mm each, then I remembered that the simple microscope design says two magnifying glasses of different focal lengths but mine is of the same focal length and I was assuming that the magnifying strength of the glasses in my possession may be very low since they were meant for reading purpose not for research meanwhile deep inside my heart something kept encouraging me that the combination of two of them would make a great difference.
In the quest to make a local microscope for myself I started looking for any object I can insert the two glasses to be in the same line, so I needed an iron pipe or plastic pipe of 45mm in their internal diameter, so I quickly visited a plumber and requested for damaged plastic pipes from him though I did not get the exact length I wanted and the one he gave me had a minor crack in its longitudinal axis about 5mm in length, while the entire length of the plastic pipe was about 600mm.
I then started my construction the following week, first I heated the plastic pipe on a frame of fire for easy insertion of the magnifying glasses into the pipe, after insertion of the two I tried using them to view and discovered that the distance between them was not proper so I had to look for a plastic pipe with small internal diameter and grinding the sides of one of the glasses to make a smaller diameter with the new small pipe, though it took me additional week to achieve that, but having it will make it possible for me to quickly adjust the distance between the two glasses for clear viewing of magnified objects.
The first discovery I made with this simple structure was the onion’s cells which I read in the biology book, and the second discovery was the tracing of ions particles deposited inside a solution after an electrolysis experiment.
I made an experiment because I wanted to produce “copper tetra-oxo-sulphate (vi) solution from a diluted tetra-oxo-sulphate (vi) acid through electrolysis method, so I needed a copper rod for the experiment, when I peeled off a 2mm thick wire in our packing store and folded it up to 4 lines to form a simply twisted copper rods, then I inserted each of them into the diluted Sulphuric acid which initiated a reaction immediately on the copper and within 6 hours the colorless solution had changed its color to bluish so I decided to trace the particles of the dissolved copper with the local magnifying glasses I had made and behold I saw the copper particles moving randomly in the chemical solution and these same particles were referred to as ions in the chemistry text book.
I had made use of magnifying glasses from my childhood doing the beginning of my interest for science and technology discoveries, but recently seeing myself as an engineer I still ask, what role is the magnifying glass playing in the engineering field?
In my little knowledge I may say;
For security doors, windows, etc.
For cameras, projectors and televisions manufacturing,
And so many others left for us to think about.
Your contributions and comments are welcomed and appreciated by gist timers.