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Green beetle's super-shiny secret (BBC) {photonics} [View All]

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eppur_se_muova Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-24-09 07:03 PM
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Green beetle's super-shiny secret (BBC) {photonics}
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Victoria Gill
Science reporter, BBC News

The stunning metallic green sheen of the "jewelled beetle" is produced by microscopic cells in its exoskeleton.

Researchers reporting in the journal Science have revealed that, with no green pigments, these structures make the beetle appear iridescent green.

These cells, they said, were almost identical to hi-tech liquid crystals.

The scientists found that the structures make the beetle appear very intensely green under light that is polarised in one direction.

Polarisation can be thought of as the orientation of light waves. And white light, or natural light, is essentially a mixture of randomly polarised light.
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