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Video From an Electron Microscope Just Made The World Cooler

When I read about this earlier today I nearly dismissed it as being another blurb about ultra-macro photography. Thankfully it's not, kind-of. Don't get me wrong things through an electron microscope are insanely cool, but I've seen them. What's the cool part then? German photographer Stefan Diller, after 3 years of hard work, has figured out how to create some incredible video with these monstrous magnifying glasses. While the ability to produce video with this technology isn't entirely new (Science Magazine covered it in 2010), Diller is producing work nobody has seen before. Using proprietary software to control the microscope he is able to create a virtual camera with 8 degrees of rotation around the subject.

Each specimen is placed under a scanning electron microscope and photographed thousands of times at slightly different angles. Due to the effort behind each video everything in this process has to be planned to perfection, including the path the camera will take. Up to 40 frames can be taken in an hour...but one minute of footage takes 1500 frames. It's not a quick process, but boy are the results impressive.

Via Mirror News

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Andrew Jonathan Smith's picture

Very cool!

The company I work for makes a special moveable platform that is essential for these videos:

Patryk M's picture

The depth of field is excellent for such macro images

Bert McLendon's picture

That guy is going to be so rich! =)

Jables's picture

how do you get the lighting so perfect??

Andrew Jonathan Smith's picture

These are images generated by an electron microscope. The sample is inside a vacuum chamber where there is no light. The images are generated by an electron beam interacting with the surfaces. The electrons are reflected or eject other electrons (so-called secondary electrons) from the object under observation. These are detected. While the beam is scanned over the surface, each detector gets a certain intensity of electrons for each spot the beam hits - these intensities are expressed as grey values and displayed on a computer screen. The color in the video is generated by assigning grey values from different detectors (that are sensitive to different types of electrons) to different color channels. I'm sure Stefan Diller can explain it better than I can. As mentioned above, we supply a stage that allows tilting and rotating the sample while keeping the object at the same distance from the electron gun's lens.

Naga Tudor's picture

where are the videos? these are just still 3d images...

Noah Andersen's picture

does anyone remember the name of the underwater macro video that was posted on here quite a while ago? I've been looking but I can't find it but it's really freaking cool.