This is what a vinyl record playing Strauss looks like under an electron microscope

14 July 2016, 13:13 | Updated: 11 January 2017, 13:37

By Tim Edwards

Scientist goes to great lengths to create extreme close-up stop-motion animation of a Johann Strauss II LP being played.

Ben Krasnow runs the ‘Applied Science’ YouTube channel and he’s just built a scanning electron microscope. Ben has his priorities right, because the first thing he’s done with the microscope is to create probably the highest-magnification video ever of a record being played.

But first, for reasons we won’t go into here, he had to cut up a Johann Strauss record (he explains that he couldn’t bear to deface his ‘Switched On Bach’ LP) and coat it in silver.

Pieces of vinyl record coated in silver

After a little more extremely clever scientific improvisation, Ben created a series of images of the stylus running along a record groove and stitched them together into an animation:

The full video is below. Be sure to watch to the end to see close-ups of CDs, DVDs and a fascinating item known as a ‘capacitance electrical disc’, which is basically a video version of a record from the 1960s that was a complete commercial failure.

How to make an electron microscope video of a vinyl record playing