Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Sea Monkey

Sample: A "Sea Monkey" (brine shrimp) at different ages.
Source: Toys 'R Us.

Yes, I grew Sea Monkeys. In college. So what?

The polarized light picture isn't there for anything in particualr, it just looks really cool.

Sea Monkey 1 Day Old.

Sea Monkey 3 Days Old.

Sea Monkey 5 Days Old.

Sea Monkey 5 Days Old, Polarized Light.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Gas Chromatography Column

Sample: A little piece of column from a gas chromatograph (GC).
Source: Beloit College Agilent 6150 Gas Chromatograph.

A gas chromatograph is a piece of analytical equipment used to separate components of complex mixtures by boiling point. Samples are injected into the machine which contains a column of glass coated on the inside with various substances that is between 15 and 100 meters long. The substances travel through the column at different speeds depending on the boiling point.

GC Column, 10x.

GC Column, 60x.

GC Column, 200x.

GC Column, 60x.

GC Column, 200x.

GC Column End, 10x.

GC Column End, 60x.

GC Column End 200x. Apologies for that bad image quality.

GC Column Vs. Pencil Lead - .5mm graphite versus the .25mm column. These things are tiny.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Windows 2000 CD

Sample: Windows 2000 CD, various parts.
Source: Omni-Tech Computers.

The surface of a Windows CD is holographic and multicolored. This is a tactic to keep people from purchasing counterfeit Windows CDs, as if people who buy them are somehow concerned about their validity...

Windows 2000 CD, 10x.

Windows 2000 CD, 60x.

Windows 2000 CD, 200x.

Windows 2000 CD Logo, 10x.

Windows 2000 CD Logo, 60x. Mark of the Beast!

Windows 2000 CD "Valid", 10x.

Windows 2000 CD "Valid", 60x.

Windows 2000 CD "Genuine", 60x.

Windows 2000 CD "Genuine", 200x.

Friday, January 27, 2006

How to make your own Jello Foam

Instructions can be found here.

You know you want to.

Not for the faint of heart!

Sample: A wounded finger.
Source: My wounded finger

A few years ago, I sliced my finger open whilst cutting a bagel. I sliced it deep. Later, once I could take the gauze off, I had the presence of mind to take a picture with the microscope. It's gross, but it's cool.


Sliced Finger, 10x.

Sliced Finger, 60x. Gross.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Eye of the Tiger

Sample: Two different polished tigereye semi-precious stones.
Source: I can't remember.

Tigereyes owe their unusual optical properties to thousands of tiny aligned crystalline rods of an asbestos mineral called (I kid you not) crocidolite. The light reflects differently depending on the orientation of the stone. One sample is flat, the other, not so much. I have included both because more pictures are better than less.

Tigereye, 10x.

Tigereye, 60x.

Tigereye, 200x.

Tigereye, 10x.

Tigereye, 60x.

Tigereye, 200x.

It's the eye of the tiger, it's the cream of the fight
Risin' up to the challenge of our rival
And the last known survivor stalks his prey in the night
And he's watchin' us all in the eye of the tiger

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Tooth of the Shark

Sample: Shark's tooth.
Source: Edisto Beach, SC.

This is one of the rare examples of the 10x view being much more interesting than the 60x or 200x views.

Shark Tooth, 10x.

Shark Tooth, 60x.

Shark Tooth, 200x. Smooth.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Eye sing the body electric.

Sample: The Human experience.
Source: My face.

Oh, come on. Like you've never wondered what your face looks like at 60x magnification.

Beard Hair, 60x.

Eyeball, 10x.

Eyelashes, 60x. This picture is kind of creepy.

Eyeball Veins, 60x. Different kind of creepy.

Iris, 60x.

I'll have to find a way to better immobilize my face.

Monday, January 23, 2006

"Blown" Jello foam

Sample: Home-made "blown" Jello foam concoction.
Source: Well, uh, home.

For a while now, I have been fascinated by Jello as a potential material for edible scientific experiments. Previous Jello-related projects have just ended in destroyed blenders and gigantic messes. Herein is the first (I think) instance of a Jello gelatin-based blown foam.

Jello Foam 10x, Reflected Illumination. The foam appears white, due to scattering of the light inside by tiny bubbles of nitrous oxide. Kind of like snow or polar bear fur.

Jello Foam 60x. Reflected Illumination.

Jello Foam 200x. Reflected Illumination.

But as we all know, Jello is a transparent medium. Perhaps illuminating it from the bottom would work well?

Jello Foam, 10x. Transmitted Illumination.

Jello Foam 60x. Transmitted Illumination.

Jello Foam 60x. Transmitted Illumination.

Jello Foam 200x. Transmitted Illumination.

Jello Foam 200x. Transmitted Illumination.

It's as fascinating as it is airy and delicious. I will be posting a full account of the manufacturing of this substance on my other blog soon. Links will follow.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Sugar, polarized.

Sample: Some common table sugar, both in granulated form and crstallized from water.
Source: Wal-Mart.

Sugars are chiral molecules. That is to say, they have "handedness." One of the consequences of this is that they rotate plane-polarized light. How this works exactly and what the consequences are is a discussion for another venue. All we care about is that it looks nice.

Granulated sugar, 60x. Boooooring.

Granulated Sugar, 60x. Polarized Light!

Granulated Sugar 200x, Polarized Light.

Freshly Recrystallized Sugar, 10x, Polarized Light.

Recrystallized Sugar, 60x, Polarized Light.

Recrystallized Sugar, 200x, Polarized Light.