June 15, 2015
An electron microscope captures the moment stylus meets groove in slow-motion.
The good folk behind Youtube channel Applied Science have shared an incredible new video of a stylus riding the grooves of a vinyl record in ultra-slow motion using an electron microscope.
Cutting off small sections of an LP to fit the electron microscope chamber, modifying a second-hand stylus and building a make-shift tone arm, the demonstration is high on method and provides a fascinating insight into the way each of these components works. For the curious it also lays out just how a stylus transmits the music from the record into an amplifiable electrical signal.
While the microscope struggles to pick up a clear signal when transmitting video live, what you’re actually seeing below is a meticulous, 60-frame stop-motion animation of the process.
Watch the video, with step-by-step explanation, below: