Another World Under the Microscope

By Christy Su
Epoch Times Staff
Created: August 20, 2011 Last Updated: September 18, 2012
Related articles: Science » Inspiring Discoveries
Print E-mail to a friend Give feedback

Sugar crystallizing out of a solution of sugar water. (Gary Greenberg)

Sugar crystallizing out of a solution of sugar water. (Gary Greenberg)

The Epoch Times: Can you describe the process and work involved in creating one piece of art?

I invented and built the 3D microscopes that I use. My company, Edge-3D, has been developing and building high-definition 3D microscopes since 1990. There are many factors that go into making a compelling photograph through the microscope. The quality of the lens, the lighting, the camera, and the type of microscope all make a big difference. Microscopic photographs of three-dimensional objects are difficult to produce because light microscopes have very shallow depth of focus. In other words, the camera can only see a thin section of the object in-focus, with the foreground and background being out-of-focus. I overcome this limitation by photographing a series of images taken at different focus levels.

To produce a fully-focused image, a computer program analyzes each image in the series, selecting the in-focus portions, and discarding the out-of-focus portions of each image in the series. All of the in-focus portions are then seamlessly combined into a single image that is sharply focused from foreground to background. The result of all this technology is a dramatic, more three-dimensional representation of the object

The Epoch Times: What magnification do you use to see the sand particles?

Greenberg: Most of my images of sand are about 150 times actual size. If you go closer than that, then you lose the feeling that it is a grain of sand that you are looking at.

The Epoch Times: So after viewing these different items at higher magnification and seeing them at smaller sizes, do you think there is a limit to how small you can see? Take a grain of sand for example. If you break the sand particle smaller and smaller while increasing the magnification, do you think there is a limit to the different forms of it you can see if technology was not a limit?

Greenberg: Modern microscopes are so powerful, they can zoom into a single atom. These types of microscopes can magnify objects about a hundred million times actual size. As you might imagine, a single grain of sand could look very different, depending on the magnification and the type of microscope used to see it

The Epoch Times publishes in 35 countries and in 19 languages. Subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Follow Cassie Ryan, EpochTimesSci & EpochTimesSpace on Twitter

Find us on Facebook: & Youtube:

Please send any feedback to




Selected Topics from The Epoch Times

Oscars 2013