Iridescence

29 January

 Blog-image-template_iridescence

A picture I took of a giant bubble engulfing my dad on the beach in Abersoch, Wales. It’s down the steps from the house we stay in called Rock End. My dad has been going every summer since he was a kid and the same for me. I learnt to swim in the sea there.

We found the perfect formula for giant bubbles. The trick is to use glycerine and J lube. It’s a powdered lube used in obstetrics! Yup. Anyway they hang around much longer and have a more dramatic pop. They are heavy but you can also blow bubbles into bubbles and you make smoke bubbles that rise up if you blow underneath them. Plus they make a good photo as the iridescent multi coloured rainbow aspect always look good, in any light.

Next task… get dad inside the bubble. He likes adventure, I’m sure he’s be up for the ride.

Watching these floating rainbows made me wonder what the science could be behind this beautiful phenomena so I looked it up. By definition iridescence is a lustrous rainbow like play of colour caused by differential refraction of light waves which tends to change with the angle of observation and the angle of illumination. In the case of bubbles or oil films it happens due to thin-film interference. It’s hard to re-create this kind of colour gradients on a computer and make them look as good as they do in real life. Cameras are better at portraying this rainbow of colour. Another natural beautiful colour effect I’ve been wondering about is peacock feathers and butterfly wings. They seem to sparkle. I’ve heard L’oreal are developing an eye shadow that uses chemistry and light rather than oils and creams to create this iridescence. Nature achieves this colour effect by layering uniform-sized troughs of air between a clear, protein-packed material — often referred to as cuticle — which makes up things like an insect’s wings. When white light waves hit the various parts of the cuticle, they interfere with each other as they pass through it at various angles. The result can be a variety of brilliant colours that may change depending on your point of view. The makeup will appear white in the packaging. Once applied and exposed to light, vibrant colour will show and change depending on the angle from which it’s viewed. Sounds ideal for festival make up!! :)