CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY CHARLES D. WINTERS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Colloidal light scattering. View of a laser beam directed through cuvettes of water and colloidal suspension (gelatin). A colloid is a suspension of tiny microscopic particles dispersed in a medium. A characteristic of a colloid is that it illuminates a beam of light passing through it. Here, laser light passing first through tap water (at left) is revealed as a single beam due to the impurities in the water. On passing through the cuvette of distilled water (middle), so little dispersion of light occurs that the beam can hardly be seen at all. At right the colloidal suspension of gelatin has caused total dispersion of the light, illuminating the cuvette.`.
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