Event Title

The Iridescence of Morpho Butterfly Wings

Graduation Year

2014

Location

Atrium, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Start Date

20-4-2013 2:00 PM

End Date

20-4-2013 3:00 PM

Description

Morpho butterfly wings get their brilliant colors from the external structure of scales on the surface of the wing. This structure is a series of ridges spaced a few hundred nanometers apart. When light shines on these ridges, interference effects cause iridescence. A spectrometer can be used to more closely study this iridescence. Measurements made at different angles will be compared to mathematical models of scale structure. Studying the structure of a butterfly wing can be used pedagogically to teach about the nature of light, and to make observations about optical phenomena in the natural world.

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Apr 20th, 2:00 PM Apr 20th, 3:00 PM

The Iridescence of Morpho Butterfly Wings

Atrium, Center for Natural Sciences, Illinois Wesleyan University

Morpho butterfly wings get their brilliant colors from the external structure of scales on the surface of the wing. This structure is a series of ridges spaced a few hundred nanometers apart. When light shines on these ridges, interference effects cause iridescence. A spectrometer can be used to more closely study this iridescence. Measurements made at different angles will be compared to mathematical models of scale structure. Studying the structure of a butterfly wing can be used pedagogically to teach about the nature of light, and to make observations about optical phenomena in the natural world.