For the Grammy Awards, a scanning electron micrograph of a needle on a record
© Susumu Nishinaga/Science Photo Librar
Music gets a close-up. Groovy!
Our photo today shows a colorized scanning electron microscope image of a phonograph needle in the groove of a vinyl record. The texture inscribed along the walls of the spiral groove replicates the soundwaves as they were recorded, thus making a reproduction of sound that can be played over and over. Why are we traveling into the microscopic world of analog sound reproduction? Because tonight, lucky artists nominated by the Recording Academy will win Grammy awards—with a trophy depicting the early record player, or phonograph, later known as the gramophone, which inspired the nickname of the award.