History of Science
Telescopes
Isaac Newton
Mathematicians

Did Isaac Newton invent the telescope?

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2012-04-23 21:36:03

Neither Newton nor Galileo invented the telescope. It was

developed independently by various dutch optics makers (Lippershey

submitted the first patent). Galileo's first telescope was

dutch-made, and he made useful improvements to the initial

retractor design. Newton did invent the reflecting telescope (the

particular design is now called a Newtonian Telescope). Further

improvements to the reflector design were made by Cassegrain and

others made improvements to the manufacturing process, greatly

improving the mirror quality.

A refracting telescope uses a lens as the main objective, while

a reflecting telescope uses a mirror. The objective is the

component that focuses the light. Reflector telescopes are the most

common nowadays, as they do not suffer from chromatic aberration

(light splitting due to refraction) and can be built in very large

diameters.

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Galileo improved the refracting telescope, but Newton invented

the reflecting

telescope.


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