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Greenlight Optics
The Device that Spurred the Creation of Optical Systems
Thursday, August 20, 2015

The team at Greenlight Optics designs, manufactures, and tests prototypes of multiple optical products on a daily basis. But this team wouldn’t be able to regularly work on these optics-related products without one of the pioneers that led human beings to where we are today. While this pioneer isn’t necessarily a person, it did help stir up ideas to create more optical systems, instruments, and products.

Imagine the only part of the night sky you could see was the part you saw when you simply looked up. Besides many people needing some form of corrective lenses, what can you see? Not much other than the white light from a few stars (in comparison to the thousands of millions astronomers have discovered), right? What if observers of space had never discovered the other planets in our solar system, or even that the earth revolves around the sun — and not the other way around? They wouldn’t have been able to without this optical instrument, the telescope.

Coming in a wide range of sizes that can have different magnifying capabilities, the telescope has been around for a great deal of time. Well, its earliest known working form has been, anyway. Its first appearance dates back to 1608, but there is still a dispute of which man among three rightfully invented the optical instrument. That, however, is a subject for a rainy day. What is important to the Greenlight Optics team is that optical systems have been improved, and the technology advanced to pave the way for the devices people use today.

Though the first known working telescope dates back the 17th century, the manufacturing of lenses can be dated back to the 10th century. But, it would take just a bit longer to have convex and concave lenses work together in an optical system that would aid humans in seeing faraway, extremely faraway.

This telescope that the three inventors disputed over who was the first and true inventor, was specifically a refracting telescope, a telescope that uses lenses to magnify the image a person is looking at. After this 17th century optics invention had been patented, other optical telescopes have been invented, and thus, improved upon. There are also reflecting telescopes, which are telescopes that use mirrors for magnification, and catadioptric telescopes. This last type of optical telescope is an optical telescope that combines the best of both worlds the ideas of both reflecting and refracting telescopes: a catadioptric telescope uses both lenses and mirrors to form an image. They are, though, specifically shaped lenses and mirrors for this purpose.

Though it’s still unclear which of the three inventors first created this optics device, other scientists, engineers, astronomers and the like would come forth in the years following to help make this latest optical instrument a better gadget — two of whom happen to be the subject of upcoming blog posts.


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