See the World's Smallest Scanning Electron Microscope in Action

Although the altitude caused some problems, the results were spectacular.
Derya Ozdemir

You may not be familiar with scanning electron microscopes (often abbreviated as SEM), but you will be after reading this: It's a type of electron microscope that scans the surface of a sample with a focused beam of electrons to create images of the material. The electrons in the beam interact with atoms in the sample, resulting in a variety of signals that contain information about the sample's surface topography and composition.

Most widely used in the examination and analysis of micro- and nanoparticle imaging, they are pretty cool pieces of gadgets. In this video by the YouTube channel Strange Parts, you can see the world's smallest scanning electron microscope in action. However, there is a catch: The host explains how he had problems testing out the machine because he's at a higher altitude than the manufacturer has ever tested it. This caused all sorts of problems with high voltage arcing, which usually occurs when a circuit becomes overloaded and overheats. But still, the video makes for an informative journey that you should consider watching. Enjoy.

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