can’t see the forest

Scanning Electron Microscopy…

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…is awesome. I just wanted to say it.

Here’s the Wikipedia article on SEM, and here are some pictures, first of various grains of pollen and second, an ant’s head (click the pictures for larger views):

Misc. Pollen Grains

Ant's Head

In the future, scientists hope to be able to use neutrinos in a way similar to that in which electrons are used in a scanning electron microscope. Because neutrinos interact very little with matter, beams of them could be used to catch glimpses of the interior of the Sun; all of our conventional techniques for attempting to view the solar surface are thwarted by the Sun’s intense radiation and strong gravity, but neutrinos can pass straight through it as if it’s not even there.

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