Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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I want to hear the flagellum beat
  (+6, -2)
(+6, -2)
  [vote for,

Perhaps this is already done, and if so, I'd love to see the links.

I want to build a microphone small enough to pick up sounds at the cellular level. It would be amusing (and perhaps insightful) to hear things like cells dividing, flagella beating, etc.

Some possible approaches:

1) Nanotechnology (tiny magnet, tiny pickup coil, tiny condenser mic, etc)

2) Interferometry (use a small reflective surface and use a laser interferometer type of device to pick up and process small deflections).

[See links for stuff that comes close but are not quite there]

cowtamer, Sep 25 2009

Locust ears http://www.nano.org...viewtopic.php?t=869
someone has gotten funding to study how locust ears work [cowtamer, Sep 25 2009]

Laser Interferometer Microphone http://www.princeto...crophone/index.html
A student project to build one [cowtamer, Sep 25 2009]

Another laser microphone http://www.williams...s.com/laser-mic.htm
[cowtamer, Sep 25 2009]


       ....and the new idea is?
xenzag, Sep 25 2009

       Vibrations are only audible within a certain bandwidth, irrespective of amplification.
pocmloc, Sep 25 2009

       ever notice how normally the smaller a thing is, the higher-pitched its voice ? [-] bad science.
FlyingToaster, Sep 25 2009

       I quite like this. Technically, there's no reason why you couldn't detect vibrations of the amplitudes in question. As FT points out, they would presumably be very high frequency for the most part, but that is irrelevant. Anyone who's used a bat detector will be aware that there is a huge orchestra of high-frequency sounds which can be brought into audio- range by heterodyning.   

MaxwellBuchanan, Sep 25 2009

       The idea is that the technology is there, but nobody (to the best of my knowledge) has built a device that will let me hear ameoba dividing or flagella beating...or even brownian motion (I've seen these things happen...and the sounds produced must be fascinating).   

       I was kind of hoping for an "it's baked, and here's the link to the recording" type of a response, even if it came with a loud fishbone.   

       Perhaps I should revise the idea as "microscope with sound" :)
cowtamer, Sep 26 2009


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