Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 29 - Think and Explain: 43

Answer

The colors are produced by interference.

Work Step by Step

Just as the iridescent color of soap bubbles can be explained by interference, some butterfly wings derive their appearance from interference colors as well. This is the result of a double reflection, from the upper and lower surfaces of the translucent wing. Other butterfly wings have ridges in the surface that act like diffraction gratings. This is discussed on pages 551, and 553-554.
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