The microscope has been around for a very long time. Invented during the 16th century, the technology has been in a process of constant improvement since. Long since surpassing the simple classic model of the glass tube, the microscope is used today in a variety of contexts in ventures as different as the automotive and drug industries. The natural limits of the human eye are constantly being augmented to accomplish the basic tasks of industry.
The parts involved in complicated modern machinery such as automobiles have become so small that the use of a microscope is inevitable. Using a microscope specially designed for the task, engineers can evaluate even the smallest gear for flaws and fractures. Microscopes are also used in this way to inspect the parts of machines such as watches and the engines used to power ships and aircraft.
The engineering of materials has become ever more complex as new materials are developed for the widest variety of tasks. Using specially designed materials, engineers have improved everything from building construction to packaging material to the clothes that people wear. The microscope has been crucial in this process, allowing experts to inspect the very basic forms of the materials they create. The use of the microscope will only become more important with new nanomaterials.
Microscopes have always been a crucial tool in the medical profession. Microscopes allowed for the world-changing discovery of germ theory which saved countless lives. Today microscopes are used in the observation of bacteria and microbes as well as in the development of new chemicals and medicines used to combat disease. The development of new drugs is greatly aided with the use of high-powered microscopes.