The Student Life organization at Eastfield is kind enough to come each week and give away free popcorn while I am there. (It is dang good popcorn, by the way!)
Last week a young man, I am guessing Middle School aged, was eating in the Pit with his dad and came over to see what I was doing. We dediced to put a piece of popcorn into the scope and see what it looked like. Below are the images we made.
Image 1: Outer side of popcorn [30x]
Image 2: Outer side of popcorn [250x]
Image 3: Outer side of popcorn [1,200x]
Image 4: Inner side popcorn kernal [30x]
Image 5: It is salted popcorn!! [250x]
It is pretty obvious that nature loves hexagons. What first struck me was how much these exploding hexagons of starch look like the cells in a bee hive. Bees build in hexgons because they can be tesselated - placed together with no wasted spaces - and because it allows them to build the largest volume for strorage with the least amount of material.
I continue to be astonished by what the scanning electron microscope is able to show me. Call and come by Eastfield and see what you can discover.
Scanning Electron Microscope Lab Coordinator
It all begins here!