- Hans Lippershey
He was born in
Wesel, in western Germany. He settled in Middelburgin the Netherlandsin 1594, married the same year, and became a citizen in 1602. He remained in Middelburg until his death.
He was credited with creating and disseminating designs for the first practical
telescope. Crude telescopes and spyglasses may have been created much earlier, but Lippershey is believed to be the first to apply for a patentfor his design (beating Jacob Metiusby a few weeks), and making it available for general use in 1608. He failed to receive a patent but was handsomely rewarded by the Dutch governmentfor copies of his design. The "Dutch perspective glass", the telescope that Lippershey invented, could only magnify thrice.
The first known mention of Lippershey's application for a patent for his invention appeared at the end of a diplomatic report on an embassy to Holland from the
Kingdom of Siamsent by the Siamese king Ekathotsarot: "Ambassades du Roy de Siam envoyé à l'Excellence du Prince Maurice, arrive a La Haye, le 10. septembr. 1608" ("Embassy of the King of Siam sent to his Excellence Prince Maurice, September 10, 1608").The diplomatic report was soon distributed across Europe, leading to the experiments by other scientists such as the Italian Paolo Sarpi, who received the report in November, or the English Thomas Harriotin 1609, and Galileo Galileiwho soon improved the device. ["Measuring the Universe: Cosmic Dimensions from Aristarchus to Halley" Page 65, by Albert Van Helden [http://books.google.com/books?id=L-yb7GX9mQIC&pg=PA65&dq=Siam+Hague+Telescope&sig=Qio14TSfEgLftMHXohSGv2L27qY] ] ["Galileo at work: His Scientific Biography", Page 138, by Stillman Drake [http://books.google.com/books?id=OwOlRPbrZeQC&pg=PA138&dq=Siam+Hague+Telescope&sig=DjbC2y6FpUrlCvQ1AMovDL7HLr4#PPA139,M1] ]
One story behind the creation of the telescope states that two children were playing with lenses in his shop. The children discovered that images were clearer when seen through two lenses, one in front of the other. Lippershey was inspired by this and created a device very similar to today's
telescope. The lunar crater Lippershey and the minor planet 31338 Lipperheyare named after him.
* [http://micro.magnet.fsu.edu/optics/timeline/people/lippershey.html Molecular Expressions: Science, Optics and You - Timeline - Hans Lippershey]
* [http://www.inventionofthetelescope.eu/400y_telescope/component/option,com_frontpage/Itemid,1/lang,en/ 400th Anniversary of the Invention of the Telescope]
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