The Power of Optics
The discovery of optics begins with ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians. Some of the earliest uses were for decoration, to magnify written words, and to concentrate sunlight to start fires. There is archeological evidence dating to 8th-century BC of a rock crystal lens called the Nimrod lens (also called the Layard lens). Word of and examples of the invention spread throughout the civilized world, which led to the development of telescopes, microscopes, and binoculars in the 1600's. Today the field of optics permeate our modern lives and are fundamental in contributions to time-keeping, medicine, science, and communications.
Explorations of our universe by amateur astronomers, microscopists, and naturalists using optical enhancement with telescopes, microscopes, and binoculars, have not only yielded major discoveries, but enhanced our understanding of our connection to and our symbiotic relationship with the cosmos.