December 2017 Science Newsletter


All of us at Capital Microscope wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We have enjoyed working with you this past year and trust you have enjoyed our monthly Science Newsletter. Please feel free to contact us if we can be of service to you in the future.

In order to find the best equipment at the most reasonable prices we invite you to explore our website at MicroscopesandMore. In addition please feel free to contact us for personal assistance in finding the best material to continue to make science an exciting activity for you and your students. I am here to help you.

We are continuing the weekly discount specials. Watch your inbox for our “Weekly Special” offering items from our extensive selection of materials at great savings. A wonderful opportunity to obtain great science supplies at very low prices.

This Month’s Highlighted Products

National BTW1-205-RLED
Introducing National Optical & Scientific Instruments’ new line of digital compound microscopes with detachable 8″ LCD tablet! The BTW1-205-RLED features high speed, full-resolution imaging technology built into some of our most popular microscopes. This WiFi digital tablet transmits live images to iOS or Android devices. Use it as a conventional microscope or share live images with colleagues using WiFi tablets, wireless laptops, and HD-ready LCD monitors/projectors through HDMI. Tablet includes preloaded Motic apps. Connect, view, and share images easily and affordably with the BTW1-205-RLED.
More Info…

National 420-430PHF-10
View specimen at 10X magnification, 40X magnification, or anywhere in between with this 1:4 stereo zoom microscope. Features top light with directional beam, bottom light with cool, long-life fluorescent illumination. Paired widefield 10x eyepieces are 45° inclined, with dual diopter adjustments, interpupillary adjustment from 55mm to 75mm. Accepts 23mm eyepiece reticle. Viewing head rotates 360°. Achromatic, color corrected lenses. Continuous magnification from 10x thru 40x. More Info…

Unico S1000 Spectrophotometer
The Unico 1000 is precisely designed and ruggedly built, this easy-to-use spectrophotometer is ideal for student use in high schools and colleges. It is suitable for general analysis and experiments such as Beer-Lambert, Absorption Spectrum, Chlorophyll, protein (biuret test) more. The built- in secondary filters reduce stray light and increase precision. The student-proof positive safety stopper integrated with the wavelength dial prevents damage to the monochromator and grating. Large digital display makes reading much easier and analog interface allows customers to collect data easily with external analog device. More Info…

Science History Information

General Science

In 1990, British and French workers digging the Channel Tunnel between their countries finally met in the service tunnel after knocking out a passage large enough to walk through and shake hands, 22.3 km from the UK and 15.6 km from France. When British construction worker Graham Fagg and his French counterpart, Philippe Cozette, drilled through the final piece of rock, the United Kingdom and France were now linked for the first time in 8,000 years. The event was witnessed by photographers, reporters, and a small handful of privileged spectators. The tunneling began three years earlier, on this same day in 1987.


In 1936, the first U.S. patent was issued for the soiless culture of plants in a large commercial hydroponicum (No. 2,062,755) to Ernest Walfrid Brundin and Frank Farrington Lyon as a “system of water culture.” Their installation, the first on a large scale in the U.S., was established on 5 Dec 1935 in Montebello, California, with a circulating system. They incorporated as the Chemi-Culture Company on 19 Oct 1937. The word hydroponics was coined in the early 1930s, by Professor Gericke at the University of California at Los Angeles to describe the growing of plants with their roots suspended in water containing mineral nutrients. It comes from two Greek words: “hydro” (water) and “ponos” (to work, labor).


In 1877, Louis-Paul Cailletet (1832-1913) became the first to liquefy oxygen. Shortly after, he also was first to liquefy nitrogen, hydrogen, nitrogen dioxide, carbon monoxide, and acetylene. Cailletet realized that the failure of others to liquefy the permanent gases, even under enormous pressures, was explained by Thomas Andrews’s concept of critical temperature. He succeeded in producing liquid oxygen by allowing the cold, compressed gas to expand, depending on the effect discovered by Joule and Thomson, that cooled the gas to below its critical temperature. In later experiments he liquefied nitrogen and air. Raoul Pictet, working independently, used a similar technique. He also invented the altimeter and the high-pressure manometer.


In 1942, the first self-sustained nuclear chain reaction was demonstrated in Chicago, Illinois. At the University of Chicago, Enrico Fermi and his team achieved the world’s first artificial nuclear chain reaction, in a makeshift lab underneath the University’s football stands at Stagg Field. Work on the experimental pile had begun on 16 Nov 1942. It was a prodigious effort. Physicists and staffers, working around the clock, built a lattice of 57 layers of uranium metal and uranium oxide embedded in graphite blocks. A wooden structure supported the graphite pile. The chain reaction was part of the Manhattan Project, a secret wartime project to develop nuclear weapons, which initiated the modern nuclear age. This was a discovery that changed the world.

Earth Science

In 1997, eight planets from our Solar System lined up from West to East beginning with Pluto, followed by Mercury, Mars, Venus, Neptune, Uranus, Jupiter, and Saturn, with a crescent moon alongside, in a rare alignment visible from Earth that lasted until Dec 8. Mercury, Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn are visible to the naked eye, with Venus and Jupiter by far the brightest. A good pair of binoculars is needed to see the small blue dots that are Uranus and Neptune. Pluto is visible only by telescope. The planets also aligned in May 2000, but too close to the sun to be visible from Earth. It will be at least another 100 years before so many planets will be so close and so visible.


At Christmas play and make good cheer, For Christmas comes but once a year. – Thomas Tusser