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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
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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

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