Record grooves under an electron microscope
Chris Supranowitz is a researcher at The Insitute of Optics at the University of Rochester. Along with a number of other spectacular studies (such as quantum optics, trapping of atoms, dark states and entanglement), Chris has decided to look at the relatively boring grooves of a vinyl record using the institute’s electron microscope. Well, not boring for me.
From what I read, it’s not just a simple matter of sticking a record under a fancy microscope, as there is a lot of preparation (such as gold-sputtering the surface) and post-processing to be done. Having said that, the results are very cool:
Here is a shot of a number of record grooves (the dark bits are the top of the grooves, i.e. the uncut vinyl):
Here’s the grooves closer up – the little bumps are dust on the record:
And here’s a single groove even closer still, magnified 1000 times:
Chris also did the pits in a CD – here’s what they look like, just for contrast:
Chris decided to take the whole electron microscope image one step further, and created a blue/red 3-dimensional image of the record groove! So, if you have a pair of 3D glasses (sorry, the ones you got from watching Avatar won’t work – you need red on the left, blue on the right), throw them on and take a look at this amazing picture:
Maybe these vinyl grooves are only beautiful to an audio geek like me, but I think that these images are truly spectacular. I wonder what we’d see if it was magnified further still? Thanks to noiseforairports for the tip.
- images magnified
- LP grooves close up
- needle in the groove cd
- picture disc under microscope