The theoretical design of microscopes relies purely on geometric principles. Actual materialization of these principles requires material manipulation, since geometric rays and light rays are significantly distinct. What is a microscope essentially? What is achieved in a microscope with light rays? The notion is quite simple. Take divergent rays from a vanishingly small point of brilliant emanations and allow them to pass through any specimen, which is to be viewed. Light from this encounter is then made to diverge as far apart as possible in a given space. Geometrically it is possible to divert rays from a vanishingly small point out to an infinite distance. This geometric construction would produce unlimited (ideal) magnifications. Provisions toward this ideal goal would require that the point radiant source be tiny and brilliant enough, the specimen be close enough to the radiant point, and the image diverging space be very long. The geometric divergence of the point light source is the magnification factor. But geometry is an idealized reality. And ideal geometry encounters significant frustrations when implementing light in inertial space.
The most basic type of microscope is the projection microscope. It is the most simple system which is employed to greatly magnify the most infinitesimal objects. In the more common version, light is made to pass through a tiny specimen. Light from the specimen is forced to diverge across a long space by means of a very small focusing lens. Rays from this lens cross, diverging and expanding across a long space. This widely divergent beam is then projected onto frosted glass. The viewing of images derived through these means is indirect, but provides superior magnifications with ultrahigh resolutions.
Formerly, laboratories required compact units capable of close personal manipulations. The development of fine optical microscopes became fright-fully complex when more powerful but compact models were required. The notion of a compound microscope is to physically compress the long projection space into a compact tube, delivering the shrunken design to customers who wish to conserve space. The “problem” with compact optical microscopes was bending the necessary wide beam through a small space. The “trick” in a compound microscope was to keep the image rays from prematurely diverging between lens stages.
The long expansion space required for divergent beam magnification had to be “folded” and “convoluted” within imaging tubes. Large numbers of lenses performed this duty. Being thus “convoluted” by lenses to achieve magnification, images produced by most expensive bench microscopes were inherently limited. Since the diverging image in these microscopes is “interrupted” within a greatly shortened space by means of several optical stages, it cannot produce great magnifications with either clarity or brilliance.
Each optical stage continually bends the image until a tremendous effective divergence is achieved. The effects are dramatic, but the necessary stages introduce optical resistances by which magnifications are inherently limited. Fundamental problems with white light alone complicated the problems which designers faced. Breaking into spectral components, each color refused to focus in exactly the same point. As a result, chromatic aberration blurred every image.
The light-crossing action of each lens brought widely diverging light beams into the ocular lens. It was pivotal that these rays be parallel. Images lost most of their radiant power against the tube walls before arriving in the final ocular. Therefore more corrective lenses were added in the beam path to bend the light back from the tube walls. Differences when light travelled between lenses and air introduced more aberrations. Batteries of corrective lenses, crowns and compounds, so loaded the light path with crystal that images lost their original brightness. These horrendous optical problems were never completely solved, despite the high cost of these instruments.
All of these optical horrors were the result of an old tradition, which yet compels designers to maintain familiar outward forms. The projection microscope is so simple and potent; one wonders why newer designs had not been developed with as much dedication and zeal. It was the outward form, which compelled the convolution of projection microscope simplicity, detracting from the excellence of magnified images. What was really lacking in optical microscopy was the development of true, tiny radiant points of monochromatic light. These diverging ray sources could produce novel and economical projection microscopes.
The numerous optical components of most excellent laboratory microscopes are configured to prevent image splitting, image incoherence, and other optical aberrations. All the differences between geometric ideals are suddenly and severely limited when using light and glass. The optical ideals come short of the geometric ideal.
Geometric rays do not fade with infinite distance. Light rays do. Geometric rays do not blur at their edges with increasing divergence, Light rays do. Geometrically magnified lines do not diminish in their intensity. Light images do. A successful optical approximation to the geometric ideal would produce a super microscope. Dr. Rife decided to manipulate all the possible variables in order to approach, as closely as possible, each part of the ideal geometric construction. If such a feat could be accomplished, he would have successfully bridged the gap between optical and electron microscopy.
To be sure, numerous individuals had accidentally discovered enormous magnification effects while experimenting in completely different fields of study. A magnifying system which magnified much smaller infinitesimals than viruses appeared in 1891. Nikola Tesla developed a remarkable carborundum point vacuum lamp and made an accidental observation, which opened a new world of vision to science.
Tesla began inventing single wire vacuum lamps for purposes of illumination. These were large glass globes powered by very rapidly impulsed currents. The impulse currents made the single supported wires glow to white brilliance, melting them. Impractical for public use, he sought to alleviate this condition by using special crystals. High melting points were required. An assortment of such materials were poised at the single wire termination. When electrified, they suddenly became radiant.
His experiments included using diamond, ruby, zircon, zirconia, carbon, and carborundum. He found it possible to blast the natural gems after a few seconds’ electrification time. But before exploding, each of these crystalline terminations released puzzling patterns of light across the globe surface. This symmetrical pattern of points attracted Tesla’s attention. They appeared when the current was turned on for just an instant.
- BROADCAST POWER: Nikola Tesla
- ENDLESS LIGHT: Dr. Thomas Henry Moray