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Light refracted off liquid polymer film

Light refracted off liquid polymer film

A208/0021

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Credit

PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PHILIPPE PLAILLY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Colour bands caused by refraction of light off a liquid soap film with an added polymer. In this study by the French physicist De Gennes and his team, the stability of a liquid film of soapy water is tested with an added polymer. At top, the film has a thickness comparable to the wavelength of light. The presence of the polymer provokes the whirling in this top layer. At centre and towards the bottom, the film gets thinner until it doesn't reflect anymore light. De Gennes's research at the College de France et Ecole de Physique- Chimie in Paris, has been in the study of the behaviour of polymer molecules for industrial uses. De Gennes received the Nobel Prize for physics in 1991.

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