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Exploring the MicroWorlds of Alan Jaras

You may recall research scientist and microscopist Alan Jaras and his fantastic photos of light refracting through various textured objects. If not, you can refresh your memory here.

I didn’t notice this on my last trip to his Flickr profile but Jaras had access to a scanning electron microscope (SEM). Between 2005 and 2007, he used the device to create a story about a group of travellers who land on a microscopic world and explore the alien environment. Have a look at some images from his MicroWorlds set after the jump.

A Perilous Journey Lay Before Them

The travellers set out to explore the world but first lay the hazardous crystal mountains. This is an electron microscope photograph of tin oxide crystals.

From Above the Maze Looked Easy

Past the crystal mountains, a gigantic maze was set to test the explorers’ sense of direction. This is an electron microscope photograph of a salt recrystallized from methanol.

The Forest That Knew No Fractals

Successfully navigating the maze led the explorers to a forest like none they’ve seen before. This is an electron microscope photograph of a fracture surface of silicon carbide fibre reinforced glass ceramic.

The Coaster had Lost its Roll

Emerging from the bare forest, the explorers happen upon what looks like a wondrous theme park. Could this be the creation of a long lost civilization? This is an electron microscope photograph of a multilayer surface coating on plastic. The coating has been shrunk, cracked, and curled.

The Silent Solid Liquid Ocean

Onward they go, and approach a vast ocean. It’s eerily quiet with the waves frozen in time. This is an electron microscope photograph of re-crystallized sodium carbonate.

See the full set of MicroWorlds images on Jaras’ Flickr profile.

[via Kitsune Noir]

BONUS: Retired scientific photographer Steve Gschmeissner uses a SEM to get up close and personal with insects. It’s a little freaky.