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A novel use for 3D confocal microscopy


IRENE is great for scanning records as the audio information inside the groove of a record is recorded laterally, from side to side. It doesn’t work for scanning and digitally generating images of the surface of a wax cylinder on which the audio information is recorded vertically. So Carl Haber and his colleagues at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory created a 3D device, shown here, which uses confocal microscopy technology to scan the surface of a rotating cylinder. In the process, the laser from the confocal microscope is differentially broken up into different wavelengths of light which correspond to the differing depths of the grooves on the cylinder. An algorithm allows Haber to translate this information into mathematical waves, amplitudes, compressions and rarefactions – the components of sound. Image Source: Sheraz Sadiq


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Taken on February 1, 2008