dancing on the head of a pin

W Watson and Sons one inch microscope objective (lens) c 1890

Toronto. For centuries, the expression “number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin” has been around. Originally religious (as you can likely tell), it shifted to ordinary usage and meant arguing absurdities while real issues went waiting.

Not so in this case where experiments in the UK seek “Imaging at the tip of a needle“.  Scientists at the University of Exeter “have developed a new technique that could revolutionize medical imaging procedures using light.” Anyone who has recently undergone a colonoscopy can appreciate this effort and cheer it on! The article linked  above appeared in the web site Science Daily on June 18, 2021.

Give a richly deserved thanks for this link to my good friend Russ Forfar up around  Georgian Bay. The image I used here is the century plus Watson 1 inch lens and a set of Watson lenses from the same period (about 1890).  Modern endoscopes, including illumination are smaller, of course and project the image to a television like monitor. We have defionitely come a long way. This development is ‘future history’ as it may well affect the design of future smart phone cameras.

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