Under the microscope

Under the microscope
MSU researcher gets a close-up look at the HPC


Computational science is a complex field, but iCER and the HPCC strive to make it as a comprehensible as possible for a wide range of people. MSU’s high-performance computers are large, multifaceted machines made up of smaller, more intricate parts working together. Recently, to further our understanding of the HPCs, we sought the assistance of the Center for Advanced Microscopy to take a closer look at some of our computer chips.

Electron Microscopist Carol Flegler put some of the HPC’s chips and components under the lens of her department’s most powerful examination tools. She used an electron microscope to produce an X-ray map of the chips, and created backscattered images, which show the differences in a sample’s average atomic weight. She also utilized a laser confocal microscope, which produced a color, stereo (3-D) image. The microscopes magnified the chips and components by 850 times. Flegler said that the samples iCER provided “worked great” for X-ray mapping.

iCER collaborates with many different departments at Michigan State University to continue making strides in science that lead to groundbreaking discoveries.

Please click the video below to learn more about iCER's trip to the Center for Advanced Microscopy