A Grain of Sand: Nature's Secret Wonder
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"To see a world in a grain of sand, And a heaven in a wild flower. To hold infinity in the palm of your hand, And eternity in an hour."
William Blake, "Auguries of Innocence" 1805
Here is the world viewed within a grain of sand, thanks to the stunning three-dimensional microphotography of Dr. Gary Greenberg. To some, all sand looks alike--countless grains in a vast expanse of beach. Look closer--much closer--and your view of sand will never be the same. Employing the fantastic microphotographic techniques that he developed, Greenberg invites readers to discover the strange and wonderful world that each grain of sand contains.
Here are the sands of Hawaii and Tahiti, the Sahara and the Poles, a volcano, each exquisitely different, and each telling a fascinating geological story. Red sand and yellow, white sand and black, singing sand and quicksand: Greenbergs pictures reveal the subtle differences in their colors, textures, sizes, and shapes. And as this infinitesimal world unfolds so does an intriguing explanation of how each grain of sand begins and forms and finds itself in a particular place, one of a billion and one of a kind.
or sales-promotional use. For details write to Special Sales Manager at MBI Publishing Company, 400 First Ave. North Suite 300, Minneapolis, MN 55401 USA. To find out more about our books, join us online at www.voyageurpress.com. On the cover, main: Maui beach. Stephanie Coffman, Shu tte rstock On the cover, insets (left to right): Purple sea urchin spine tip; blue shell fragment; olivine; heart-shaped shell fragment. On the back cover (left to right): Mineral grain; pink coral; star-shaped
develop a personal vision of the world around me. I had the very good fortune to find a brilliant mentor early in my life. At the age of twenty, I had taken a hiatus from university to spend some time in Australia, where I became good friends with British transplant Geoff Burnstock. At the time, Geoff was thirty-five years old and had just been appointed full professor and head of the Department of Zoology at the University of Melbourne. Over the years, Geoff occasionally hired me to make 16mm
tilt in the specimen. I reasoned that if! used one oblique light from the left and another oblique light from the right, it would be possible to produce a left-eye and right-eye view of the sample simultaneously, which would result in a dramatic 3-D image. In other words, both eyes would receive a 2-D image but from a slightly different angle; the human brain then creates the third dimension. With the help of my mentor and The Edge 3D Microscope was used to create the images in this book. 29
micrometers thick, so structures in the foreground and background are blurred. The higher the magnification, the thinner the in-focus slice, and both the background and foreground become more out-oE-focus. We have overcome this problem of shallow depth of focus in an interesting way. I utilize a sophisticated computer program employed in modern biomedical imaging laboratories. It works like this: First a photograph is taken that is focused at the top of the sand grain, then the microscope is
highpower light microscope. I usually magnify the images anywhere from forty to four hundred times their actual size, whereas the microscope can magnify up to a couple thousand times. If I were to use these very high magnifications, you would only see a small part of the surface of a single grain. It would be like taking pictures of a person by focusing close-up on the pores rather than the face. I strive to bring out lots of detail in the sand grains, which means focusing relatively closely, but