What Is the Cell Theory of Hans and Zacharias Janssen?

The cell is the basic unit of life, according to the cell hypothesis. By inventing the first microscope, Hans and Zacharias Jansen made a significant contribution to numerous aspects of this theory.

All living entities, according to the cell theory, are made up of cells. Organisms can be either single-celled or multicellular. According to About.com, the hypothesis claims that all cells develop from pre-existing cells. Around 1590, a Dutch sight maker named Zacharias Jansen constructed the first compound microscope. Zacharias’ father, Hans Jansen, is thought to have aided in the development of this young scientist’s innovation. Three draw tubes with lenses inside the ends made up the first microscope. For its day, this microscope was quite advanced. A bi-convex eyepiece lens and a plano-convex objective lens were used in the design. Sliding the draw tube in or out while focusing on the sample magnified the image. The microscope could magnify a sample up to 10 times its original size when the tubes were extended to their maximum length. The creation of this scientific tool allowed late-eighteenth-century scientists Robert Hooke and Anton van Leeuwenhoek to view diatoms, fossils, and the first cells. The development of microscopy began with the invention of the compound microscope.

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Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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