February 2018 Science Newsletter


The second half of the school year is underway and all of us at Capital Microscope hope that all is going well.

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. We are here to help you.

We are continuing the weekly discount specials. Watch 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

Elementary LED Microscope

This highly portable field microscope can be used in the classroom or in the field. A great opportunity to teach microscopy on a limited budget. More Info…

5.0MP HDMI Microscope with LCD Screen

This HDMI digital microscope is perfect for home, field studies, student, medical, industrial, and commercial use. With integrated 3.5 inch LCD screen, sharing between colleagues is simple. Focus range of 10mm – 50mm and 3.5MP high speed image sensor enable quick viewing and sharing capabilities. Included Portable Capture HD software enable users to capture, view, label, edit, and measure their images. This handheld digital camera microscope comes equipped with a rechargeable lithium ion battery, so taking it with you on the go isn’t a problem. More Info…

Ohaus CS200

The OHAUS CS Compact Scale is a lightweight, portable scale perfectly suited for use in laboratory, industrial, education and home use applications. Applications can include forensic testing, quality control, formulation, soil sampling, postal weighing and dietary needs. More Info…

Science History Information

General Science

In 1994, the U.S. Department of Energy announced production of solar panels giving nearly twice the efficiency of existing panels. Made by United Solar Systems of Troy, Mich., these amorphous silicon submodule (1 ft2) panels converted 10.2% of solar energy into electricity, as compared to 6% previously possible. This was possible by using new thin-film photovoltaic technology. The company has subsequently produced flexible solar shingles based on thin film photovoltaics that can permit the roofs of ordinary commercial and residential buildings to evolve from simply providing protection from the weather to becoming a source of much-needed electric power.


In 1998, American researchers announced they have cloned calves that may produce medicinal milk. Dr James Robl at the University of Massachusetts and Dr Steven Stice of Advanced Cell Technology were the first to clone cows from fetal cells in which human genes were spliced into cattle DNA. Creating two identical, genetically engineered calves is a step towards the mass production of human drugs in animals. Their goal was to turn cows into drug factories, mass producing milk that contains human proteins important for treating human diseases. The scientists used a variation on the techniques previously used in Edinburgh, Scotland, to create the cloned sheep Dolly. Cows would be better producers of the proteins than sheep because they make more milk.


In 1953, a sample amounting to about 200 atoms of fermium (Fm, atomic number 100) was first discovered by ion-exchange chromatography and identified at the University of California, Berkeley. Like einsteinium, fermium was first isolated from the debris of the Nov 1952 test of the hydrogen-bomb (called the “Mike” event, conducted at Eniwetok Atoll in the Pacific Ocean). Samples of debris were collected by drone aircraft flying through the cloud. For security reasons, it was kept secret until 1955 [See Phys. Rev., 99,1048 (1955)]. Because it is so short-lived, scientists doubt that enough fermium will ever be obtained to be weighed. Fermium was the eighth transuranium element of the actinide series to be discovered, and was named in honour of Enrico Fermi.


In 1907, the three-element vacuum tube was issued a U.S. patent to its inventor, Dr Lee de Forest as a “device for amplifying feeble electric currents – such, for example, as telephone currents” (No. 841,387). The tube was evacuated, with some remaining conducting gas molecules, and it was suggested using for the heated electrode such material as platinum, tantalum or carbon. He had made a public announcement of his device a few months earlier, on 20 Oct 1906 at a meeting of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers held in New York City. On 18 Feb 1908, he received another patent for the grid electrode tube (No. 879,532).

Earth Science

In 1969, an optical pulsar was identified for the first time by University of Arizona astronomers led by John Cocke and Michael Disney at the Steward Observatory. It was discovered in the Crab Nebula. Fourteen months before, the first type of pulsar to be discovered was in the radio spectrum and was detected on 28 Nov 1967 by Jocelyn Bell, a graduate student of Anthony Hewish. Most pulsars emit regular pulses of radio waves, some up to 1,000 pulses per second,. They are believed to be neutron stars with exceedingly rapid spin. Optical pulsars flash at a similar rate, which is too fast for the eye to perceive. The Arizona astronomers used a stroboscopic technique to look at a known radio spectrum pulsar, at a time when an optical pulsar was only a theoretical question. Only a handful have been found since


You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing — that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something. – Richard Feynman