A Perfect Rose, A Stepper, An X-Ray Machine, And Thee

The Day of Compulsory Romance is once more upon us, and in recognition of that fact we submit for your approval an alternative look at one of the symbols of romantic love: an X-ray of a rose.

Normally, diagnostic X-rays are somewhat bland representations of differential densities of the tissues that compose various organs and organ systems, generally rendered in shades of gray. But [Linas K], a physicist with time to kill and access to some cool tools, captured the images in the video below not only in vivid color, but as a movie. The imaging side of the project consists of a low-power X-ray tube normally used for non-clinical applications and a CMOS sensor panel. The second video shows that [Linas] did an impressive upgrade on the X-ray controller, rolling his own from an FPGA. This allowed him to tie in a stepper motor to rotate the rose incrementally while taking images which he stitched together in post.

Watching the interior structure of the flower as it spins is fascinating and romantic in its own right, for certain subsets of romance. And really, who wouldn’t appreciate the work that went into this? But if you don’t have access to X-ray gear, fear not — a lovely Valentine’s gift is only a bottle of ferric chloride away.


18 thoughts on “A Perfect Rose, A Stepper, An X-Ray Machine, And Thee

    1. Almost; he said that they normally cost between one and one-and-a-half kidneys but he got it for less than that (but he never elaborated the exact amount).
      He does a tear down in another video of a panel (I assume the same one) which is a “Hamamatsu C9732DK” (googling around suggests similar sorts of flat x-ray detector panels are in the range $20k-$35k)

        1. And gravity is working against you? I guess a rose is too flexible for CT with horizontal rotation axis. Vertical rotation axis would make it easier to keep it still during the scan.

  1. If you’re too late and florists are all out of roses, you can (3D) print them out, give them to your significant other, and enter yourself in then “Fix You Can Print” contest. (c:

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