You would think that if you have an electron microscope and a record player, you’re most of the way there to being able to record close-up footage of a needle traversing the grooves of a long-player record.
Well, you would be wrong. It was actually quite a challenge, as the Applied Science YouTube channel recently demonstrated in vivid and mind-blowing detail.
Among the difficulties that Ben Krasnow, the man behind the Applied Science channel, had to overcome were that a small square of the vinyl LP had to be carved out in order to fit it into the microscope chamber, and the LP had to be coated in a conductive material (evaporated silver) to avoid a circumstance whereby the electrons fired at its surface by the microscope would be absorbed, trapped, and eventually repelled.
I don’t really understand any of this, but the video explains it very well. Also a new stylus also had to be constructed, because the magnets in the original cartridge would have deflected the incoming electrons. And guess what, they needed to make a custom tonearm as well.
Even more astonishingly, the little movie that resulted isn’t a regular movie at all, it’s pretty much stop-motion animation on a microscopic scale. You see, the video image generated by the microscope has is of a low resolution, so Krasnow painstakingly saved individual images at a higher resolution, moving the LP piece 50 microns at a time until he had amassed 60 frames. Then the frames were put together in PhotoShop to make an animated GIF, which plays about 1/400th of actual speed.
The result is some fantastic footage for those audiophiles who’ve always wondered…. just how the heck does this work, exactly?
via What Hi-Fi?