Always wanted to view a stylus running through the grooves of a vinyl record under an electron microscope? Yeah, you have. And now you can.
Viewing things really close up is cool, and possibly the greatest achievement of modern technology. The video below, which captures a vinyl record and stylus under some serious magnification, is concrete proof.
Ben Krasnow, a hardware engineer at Google X, has taken to the internet to share an animation of a phonograph needle running through the grooves of an LP under an electron microscope.
Although very interesting, the nine-minute duration of the video can get pretty technical, with Krasnow going into heavy detail about how he made the animation. If you want to skip past the science-y stuff and get straight into the action, jump to around the 4:20 mark. If you’re into the science stuff, Krasnow’s breakdown is pretty interesting too.
Krasnow also takes a microscopic look at various other audio formats, including CD-ROMs, early forms of DVD, and more. Check out the video below:
Interest in vinyl has been soaring lately as the medium’s popularity continues to grow. In their annual report, Neilsen Music (who gather statistics in the US) ascertained that vinyl record sales climbed 9% in 2017, selling a total of 14.3 million units (up from 13.1 million in 2016), which accounted for 14% of all physical album sales.
In 2019 that climb only increased, with Nielsen’s updated data showing a new yearly sales high for the 14th year running. That year, vinyl sales grew by an additional 14.5% to 18.84 million units total, now representing 16.7% of all album sales.
“Every house and apartment should have records and record players in them. Things would be better,” Henry Rollins said of the vinyl resurgence.