Soap bubble and light patterns

Soap bubble and light patterns

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Credit: JAMES KING-HOLMES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Soap bubble. Soap bubble with a pattern of colours lying on the nozzle of a bottle of detergent. The pattern results from light interference which occurs because of reflection within the thin film of the soap bubbles when the thickness of the film is comparable to wavelength of the incoming white light. Light waves reflected from the back of film may be out of phase with light reaching the front and so they cancel each other out. The colours occur when only some of the wavelengths that comprise white light are extinguished. The exact wavelength extinguished depends upon the thickness of the film.

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Keywords: bubble, colour, detergent bottle, interference pattern, light, optics, physics, soap bubble

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