Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

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

Chapter 29 - Think and Explain: 48

Answer

Each colored ring is like a contour line (isoline) on a topographic map.

Work Step by Step

Light reflects from the top and bottom surfaces of the thin film of oil or gas. Depending on the thickness of the film at that location, different colors will reinforce or cancel. Therefore, a color corresponds to a particular thickness of the gasoline film. This is similar to a line on a contour map that joins points of equal elevation/height. This is discussed on pages 553-554, and shown in Figure 29.26.
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