Saturday, June 09, 2007

Report from the New Mexico Border

The winds were too high yesterday near Sierra Vista for light planes to fly over to Carlsbad New Mexico, not far from Roswell.

But as luck would have it, Icame across this forlorn, isolated second hand store with the "big sale" sign near the Southernmost portion of Arizona West of New Mexico. In the back, I was told, were minerals, fossils, stone artifacts and meteorites. That got some attention.

There are generally two types of meteorites: stony, and metallic. The metallic meteorites, when carefully cut with diamond blades, polished and etched with various acids, sometimes show unique and definitely non-terrestrial crystalline formations that may have unique properties. Crystals grown very slowly, perhaps over the course of 4 billion years, can have a perfect, defect free structure that rivals lab grown crystals, and the alloys, some with nickel, others perhaps titanium,can be exotic.

Turbine blades for fan-jet engines are made of what is like a single pure crystalline shaft, which is necessary because of the extreme tensile strength requirements.

Ribbons for ribbon microphones are usually made of ordinary aluminum. Aluminum is beaten or rolled very thin, and cut into strips which are fragile and easily deformed. There are various alloys and in this blog there are several pointers to the alloys of aluminum. Could the metallic crystalline structures of meteorites have properties useful to sound recording, even ribbon mics?

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