iridescence

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iridescence

(ĭr'ədĕs`əns), exhibition of rainbowlike colors on a surface. It usually results from interferenceinterference,
in physics, the effect produced by the combination or superposition of two systems of waves, in which these waves reinforce, neutralize, or in other ways interfere with each other.
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 when light composed of different wavelengths is reflected from the superficial layers of organic or inorganic substances, e.g., minerals, mother-of-pearl, and the feathers of birds. Iridescence greatly enhances the value of certain gems.

iridescence

[‚ir·ə′des·əns]
(optics)
A rainbow color effect exhibited in various bodies as a result of interference in a thin film (as of soap bubbles or mother of pearl) or of diffraction of light reflected from a ribbed surface (as of the plumage of some birds).

iridescence

The appearance of the rainbowlike colors that are occasionally observed in high clouds. Also known as irisation.
References in periodicals archive ?
As for nacre (mother-of-pearl), its iridescence is due to its composition: superposed thin layers of aragonite and conchiolin are bonded to ionized water molecules and reflect light rays; depending on the refraction angle of the light, this causes certain colours to appear or disappear.
These phenomena of reverberation, saturation, and contrasts of dark (anthracite grey, jet black, dark blue, purple) and light (blinding white, grey, light blue or pink), dusky hues, iridescence, scintillation, and luminescence are characteristics of the beings, artefacts, places, and temporalities that have relations of proximity to invisible entities--the dead in particular.
(6) Iridescence, an unstable and moving effect, could be for the Owa an indication of this metamorphosis, and it visually marks the change in state of the afigona-mana principle that underlies the existence of all animated beings.
Visually, the iridescence of the polished nautilus shell or the shimmering of the coral lime powder--which are always enhanced by a matte black background--condition the carved object's elevation to the status of a 'beautiful object', and, de facto, its potential to enter into the sphere of ritual practices (Revolon 2006a, 2006b).