Scientists view the world, both figuratively and often literally, through a different lens. Much of what we know and take for granted in everyday life would not be accessible had it not been transformed through the vision of a scientist.
Our understanding of the entire cosmos would be limited to only that which we can see with our naked eyes if early scientists had not aspired to see far-away things more clearly. Often ridiculed or even persecuted for their audacity in looking to the skies, these visionaries solved the riddle of how to capture and magnify light in order to observe the heavenly bodies. Telescopes made this dream obtainable not only to scientists but to every curious mind.
From the wider universe to things too small to be seen, microscopes open entirely new areas of study. A quick trip to Microscope.com reveals an impressive variety of instruments that offer everyday people the chance to become scientists. Common objects give up strange secrets when viewed through magnification.
A tourist may be moved when observing a beautiful landscape because of towering mountains or meandering waterways. A scientist is also moved, but the mountain range reveals the strata that define geological time periods, and the rivers unveil feats of engineering made accessible to study. Imagination is critical to the dreamer and scientist alike, because they are often one and the same.
The invention of cameras capable of grabbing images so quickly that they actually captured movement was impressive. Manipulating video for a whole new look at the world was brilliant. We can now see the individual strokes of a hummingbird’s wings, or watch a rose open in just a moment. Anyone with a video camera can now view the world in ways that real time does not permit.
Our eyes allow us to see only certain hues within the broader color spectrum. This limits our ability to understand the natural world. Scientists have learned to manipulate light to reveal images previously invisible to us.
Many discoveries begin when a curious mind employs a different type of vision, one of imagination bent on exploring what might be possible. Literal sight gives way to an endless view.
Our understanding of the lay world is in large part defined by what we can see. Through the use of educated observation, technology and mental imagery, everyone can be a scientist.
April Labarron is a native of Southern California. She has her BA in English/Literature from MSJC in Menifee, Ca. She views her freelance writing, not only as a career, but as her passion. Other areas of interest include; movies, food, singing, soccer, traveling, shopping and a continuous desire for learning. She lives on her own and is accompanied by her Pomeranian named, Elvis. She currently resides in Temecula, CA.