AESTHETRON was designed specifically for remote-site testing of hand-made ceramic objects. Three objectives were defined:
1. The instrument must weigh less than 100 lb. to facilitate shipping to remote testing locations.
2. The materials used in its construction must be commonly available and inexpensive.
3. It must provide precise readings to the experimenters about axial and radial compression strength of all tested objects.

Early in the design process it was decided non-destructive testing involved complexities beyond the scope of the project.

The demand for simple hardware made it necessary to completely rethink the traditional methods of compression strength testing. Generating forces sufficient for this kind of testing usually requires heavy hydraulic equipment, so it was decided to pursue a technique explioting resonance with, and focusing of forces that exist universally. These phenomena are little understood, but are most likely the same ephemeral forces that New Age experimenters appear to sense in crystals and pyramids. It seemed unlikely that their methods would accomplish anything without the application of hard scientific theory.

It's a sad commentary on the funding and support provided to basic research that this work has been dormant for eighteen years. AESTHETRON performed stunningly, but ON ONLY ONE OCCASION. Much of the record of the work has been lost. This archive, enhanced with informative animations is preserved here for a future that recognizes the potential AESTHETRON has to shape contemporary culture.

The drawings contain links to the recently discovered theoretical material. More will become available as the archaeology of the AESTHETRON continues.