DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR KEITH WHEELER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Interference patterns in a frozen pond containing thin films of oil. The oil has been released by decomposing leaves at the surface of the pond. When the oil thickness is comparable to the wavelength of light, light waves reflected from the back of the film may be out of phase with light striking the front of the film, and interference results. When white light hits the oil film, different component colours are either extinguished or reinforced, depending on the light path length through the film.
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