Twinkling colored lights of ? (magnetic viewing film)

Images made through a microscope. All subject types.

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rjlittlefield
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Twinkling colored lights of ? (magnetic viewing film)

Post by rjlittlefield »

Merry Christmas! Thought I'd contribute a bit of puzzle here. :D

The image is animated, 6 different frames, but I saw very much the same thing in real time.

Image

Here's a closer view, short focus stack of 7 frames at 20X on sensor, 10 micron step.

Image

Any guesses about what this is? :D

--Rik

Edit: title
Last edited by rjlittlefield on Thu Dec 29, 2011 6:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Franz Neidl
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Post by Franz Neidl »

I try to guess: This are plant cells in polarized light. Maybe the outer skin from an onion?

Franz

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Post by rjlittlefield »

This are plant cells in polarized light. Maybe the outer skin from an onion?
I will have to try that. It sounds interesting!

But the guess is not correct -- no polarized light was used in making this picture.

--Rik

DQE
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Post by DQE »

Definitely aliens and UFOs involved! I figure that the skin of the alien does this sort of thing, but I'm surprised it let you photograph it under a microscope!!

The Pacific Northwest must have a lot of aliens, etc...

(insert friendly grins here)

----------------
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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alien_abduction_claimants
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rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

Definitely aliens and UFOs involved! I figure that the skin of the alien does this sort of thing, but I'm surprised it let you photograph it under a microscope!!

The Pacific Northwest must have a lot of aliens, etc...
Indeed the Pacific Northwest has many aliens --- and I have photographed several kinds under microscopes! (Noctua pronuba and Taraxacum officinale come to mind. :wink: )

But this is not an alien.

More clues...

The festive appearance comes from colored lights. In ordinary white illumination, the subject appears in various shades of green, like this:

Image

I'm sure the idea of moving lights will come to mind. But to stave off that one, I'll also volunteer that the lights were fixed in place and brightness, and the subject was firmly clamped to the microscope stage, which likewise did not move.

How can this be?? :?:

--Rik

Cactusdave
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Post by Cactusdave »

This second shot looks like lichen or a mixed lichen/algae community on tree bark. Not sure how that correlates with the high power image though. I seem to see small refractile globules suspended at different levels in some kind of matrix there.
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Mitch640
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Post by Mitch640 »

Some kind of christmas cookie?

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Post by ChrisR »

Bubbles in your festive Crème de Menthe?

rjlittlefield
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Post by rjlittlefield »

The subject is a manufactured product, distinctly not edible.

There is a liquid involved, but you'd never notice it except under the microscope!

--Rik

Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

Really lost on this one (and the one Pau put up earlier).

Some sort of supple vinyl material?

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Post by gpmatthews »

It suggests to me that the liquid may be a liquid crystal...
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Charles Krebs
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Post by Charles Krebs »

E-ink?

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Post by rjlittlefield »

The material is somewhat flexible, but certainly not supple.

There are no liquid crystals or electronic ink involved here.

However, like some liquid crystals and e-ink, this material does change its appearance based on sensing its environment. This feature has applications in science, engineering, and entertainment.

As seen by the naked eye, the material often displays one or another distinctive pattern of blotches or stripes. Here are some common examples:

Image

Here is a slightly closer view, such as you might see with a magnifying glass.

Image

Prompting any ideas yet? :D

--Rik

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Post by rjlittlefield »

Hhmm, I wasn't expecting this puzzle to be quite so daunting!

So here's another clue. I hope this one is really strong.

Shown here is the environment, the subject material as it responds to that environment, and a Photoshop overlay of the two.

Image

Anything now?

--Rik

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Post by Pau »

A magnetic fluid?
There is some kind of magnetic fluid used in scientific toys, I thin it's opaque, but never saw it so close :?:
Pau

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