Sunday, February 21, 2010

Found Link: Vinyl record grooves under an electron microscope

I love vinyl records. I adore them. They have always represented a unique way of listening to music that no other format has quite equalled. The large packaging, the physical feel of pulling out the plastic disc and flipping sides every 20 minutes; it's an experience beyond simply listening to sound. But I can't forget the sound. The quality of audio reproduction to emerge from those plastic grooves is quite outstanding. But how does it work? A needle vibrating to the friction of the grooves. It all seems like magic. But what does it look like close up? The following link has some pretty impressive images of the grooves of vinyl under an electron microscope. Check it out and let me know what you think.

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:"

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