JOURNEYS IN MICROSPACE: The Art of the Scanning Electron Microscope by Dee Breger

JOURNEYS IN MICROSPACE: The Art of the Scanning Electron Microscope

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KIRKUS REVIEW

It is tautological that we'll never know the unknowable, but it seems we can see the invisible--thanks to the scanning electron microscope (SEM). Magnified hundreds, even thousands, of times, the tiniest particles appear in surprising splendor, while objects and materials we thought we knew--Velcro, nylon--become unrecognizable when reduced to their micro-components. These astonishing, mostly black-and-white images are abstract dramas of light and shade. Textures change with the degree of magnification: The delicate filigreed threads of a goose feather magnified x20 become bamboo stalks at x635. Latex's strength is visibly apparent: Its little fuzzballs seem impenetrable in tightly symmetrical military array; nylon, on the other hand, is a flabby, disorganized tangle of spaghetti-like strings (oh, if only they could make stockings out of latex). The strange ""landscapes"" and ""portraits"" gathered by SEM expert Breger seem to take one out of this world rather than more deeply into it. But toward the end, Breger brings us back to mundane reality--with a darling close-up of every urban dweller's friend, the cockroach.

Pub Date: Nov. 20th, 1995
Page count: 201pp
Publisher: Columbia Univ.