Dr. Francis Lucas of Bell Telephone Labs developed a modified version of this system in which a maximum magnification of 60,000 diameters was developed. Not only did this work significantly reduce the theoretical limits set by Abbe, but the ultra-microscope which Dr. Lucas designed actually empowered Bell Labs to compete with RCA in the microscope field. Dr. Rife had previously achieved resolutions of 6000 diameters with resolutions of 50,000 diameters. And now, Dr. Rife believed he had a means by which these preliminary feats could be greatly outperformed. The Abbe Limit, a theoretically perfect expression, was dissolving before the new empirical evidence.
Of course, RCA ultimately outdid the propaganda campaign for their own electron microscope system, wiping out the optical systems of both Bell Labs and Harvard University. Nevertheless, independent researchers preferred these ultraviolet microscopes to any system, which RCA could market. Attractive because the ultraviolet microscopes permitted life-active observations, pathologists were not impressed by the extra magnifications of electron microscopy.
Ultraviolet light for ultra-microscopes is an absolute necessity. The successful operation of any such device depends on deep UV rays. Monochromatic ultraviolet sources prevented many of the familiar optical aberrations common to optical microscopy. Blurring and fringe degeneration when passing through the optical resistance of lenses would be minimized. The ultraviolet source would also need to be of the shortest possible wavelength in order to approach the geometric ray ideal.
All optical components in the ultra-microscope would then have to be composed of pure quartz crystal in order to flawlessly transduce the deep ultraviolet rays. Even the specimen slides were made of thin quartz glass. The ultra-microscopes of Dane, Graton, and Lucas used as few lenses as possible, being virtually pure projection microscopes.
According to Dr. Lucas, resolution one-tenth of the illuminating light wavelength was obtained. This broke the so-called Abbe optical restrictions by an order of 300 percent; the resolution being brought up to .05 microns. How was this possible? Drs. Dane and Graton further stated that far greater resolution could be obtained through lenses than claimed by their manufacturers. The reason for this? So long as the manufacturers had accepted the theoretical limits there was no incentive toward progress in the field. No one bothered to find out!
The ultra-microscopes demonstrated beyond question that lenses do in fact surpass theoretical limits. The manufacturers, eager to maintain credibility in the academies, had simply endorsed whatever the physicists wrote. Equally as significant was the fact that each of these ultra-microscopes did not require the fixation of specimens before viewing. The embodiment of each ultra-microscope gave new drive to researchers who wished to see live pathological stages in tissue cultures. The systems were immediately demanded and obtained by numerous serious research institutes on both sides of the Atlantic.
Certain highly respected researchers came to believe that the most basic laws concerning physical light were fundamentally flawed. Perhaps light was of an entirely different nature than supposed. This, they mentioned, was why the Abbe limit was such a distorted mathematical expression. Light was not what the physicists declared it to be. This is why Abbe’s assessment was so obviously flawed. But what other assumed truths were holding back fresh discovery? Empirical observations now replaced the theoretical piles with discoveries, which were once termed “unlikely” by qualified authorities.
When researchers realized the great cost, which the Abbe limit had so long imposed on microscope designers, they began challenging every known theoretical limit, which pertained to their fields of study. Every scientific premise was questioned during the astounding decade of the 1930’s. Every applicable optical rule was again subject to fresh questioning, the epitome of renewed scientific mind. New vision filled the researchers, challenging the inertial world again. The most significant effect of these new ultra-microscopes was a renewed questioning process. Now also pathologists and biologists alike were given instruments with which to peer into the most infinitesimal natural recesses.
With the ability of medical researchers to peer into the deepest pathogenic lairs, new cures for ancient maladies could be affected. The war was on, and fresh crusades came to the battlefield armed with light. Curiously, the lines of battle brought two distinct groups to fight the same foe. Unfortunately, one group desired all the glory and crushed its more sensitive brother.
Rockefeller Institute extended their campaign by highlighting the efficacy of electron microscopy, securing the sale of their new units. The RCA cash flow was unrestricted now. Electron microscopy coupled its forces with the pharmacological industry, producing its line of allopathic medicines. Those who took upon themselves the inquisitorial profession, rather than the profession of truth, found themselves drowning in seas of new developments, which their business-minded patrons wished to eradicate. Independent university researchers maintained their poise as the prime recipients of fresh and astounding discoveries, which shook the medical world. This would not long be tolerated by the growing pharmaceutical monopolies and trusts who wanted total domination of the field.
The encroaching economic depression of the time period had crushed the general populace. Dr. Rife had been designing and assembling ultraviolet projection microscopes of superior quality from 1920 onward. He had planned to build a far superior instrument. The super microscope. The design was based on theoretical considerations developed during his preliminary experimentation in optics. Now this work was abruptly terminated. Finding himself out of employment, Dr. Rife sought the ordinary work of those who are in need. Humbled and not proud, he sought a salary in less intellectual venues for the time being.
Hired as private chauffeur by H. H. Timkin, a wealthy and philanthropic motor magnate, he gradually won both the respect and willing ear of his adventurous employer. He could not keep his wonderful dream to himself. On long journeys to boring boardroom meetings, Timkin engaged Dr. Rife in detailed discussions on his medical work. Dr. Rife eagerly entered these discussions with an enthralled candor, which caught his employer quite by surprise. The seriousness and integrity of the man did not catch Timkin by surprise. He recognized quality when he saw it, and listened.
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