Invention of the Kaleidoscope


The kaleidoscope was invented in 1816 by Sir David Brewster who was a Scottish mathematician and physicist noted for his various contributions to the field of optics. Brewster patented his invention in 1817 but thousands of unauthorized reproductions were constructed and sold, resulting in Brewster receiving little financial benefit from his invention. Brewster named the kaleidoscope as he did because of the Greek term “kalos” which means “beautiful”, “eidos” which means “form”, and “scopos” which means “watcher”

The Evolution of the Eye


The eye has developed within the animal kingdom for one reason only; to detect the world around the observer. The first evolved eyes were simply an apparatus which had a light sensitive cell referred to as “rhodopsin”. Eventually as time progressed, eyes developed a spherical shape which allowed more light to be captured so that the difference between light and dark was more distinct. Following this, eyes evolved the ability to develop a pupil which acts as a biological aperture which can constrict and dilate letting either more or less light into the eye. This system works in theory but the real world application developed a problem in that when constricting the pupil to focus on an object being looked at, less light is let in which restricts vision. Nature eventually alleviated this issue by placing a lens behind the aperture of the pupil which allowed for precision detail, clarity, and focus. This system was so effective that evolution produced some form of it for nearly every animal and insect on Earth, some being more adept than others, but all using the same principal of light and focus to observe information around them

Dung Beetle Celestial Navigation


Dung beetles use the Milky Way Galaxy to navigate. The dung beetle’s eyes are much too small and imprecise to see individual stars, however they are accurate enough to see the presence of the stars within the Milky Way Galaxy itself. Dung beetles have a particularly difficult time navigating in a straight line on cloudy or obstructed nights which is what initially lead scientists to the discovery of the dung beetle’s navigation methods. This find was the first time an animal or insect was discovered to navigate using primitive astronomy techniques

Invention of the Telescope


Hans Lippershey was a Dutch/German tradesperson who fashioned eye glasses for a living. Lippershey created and designed the first telescope, and then patented it in 1608. The first telescopes could only magnify objects 3x closer than the naked eye. The telescope turned out to be one of the most important inventions of the 15th century because Galileo Galilei built upon the original design to create the field of astronomy which lead to groundbreaking new discoveries about the solar system and Earths place within the cosmos