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1940

Transmission electron microscope

RCA Laboratories (which was eventually renamed Sarnoff Corporation and is now part of SRI) commercialized the first high-resolution transmission electron microscope in North America in 1940. Developers eventually improved magnification by 10,000 times. Electron microscopes use a beam of electrons to create the image of a specimen. They are capable of much higher magnifications and have a greater resolving power than a light microscope, allowing them to see much smaller objects in finer detail.

A generation later, more than 2,000 electron microscopes were in use, with some capable of magnifying more than 2 million times. They are standard equipment in hospitals, universities, and other research institutions.

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