Turns Out that a Cypher AFM is an Absolutely Terrible Earthquake Detector!
I was in the lab Saturday evening doing some PFM measurements on our Cypher S AFM when I felt the familiar rumble of an earthquake. Sadie woke from her nap and looked concerned. Smallish earthquakes like this one (magnitude 3.8) are not all that remarkable here in California. But what I did find remarkable was that there was no sign whatsover of the quake in the AFM image that was scanning. The Cypher was just sitting on an ordinary wooden table with only a block of granite beneath it—no special vibration isolation. Having used the Cypher for years now, I'm no longer too surprised by the high resolution that it consistently achieves but that night it surprised me.