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Question

Iridescent peacock feathers are shown in Figure P38.64a. The surface of one microscopic barbule is composed of transparent keratin that supports rods of dark brown melanin in a regular lattice, represented in Figure P38.64b. (Your fingernails are made of keratin, and melanin is the dark pigment giving color to human skin.) In a portion of the feather that can appear turquoise (blue-green), assume the melanin rods are uniformly separated by $$ 0.25 \mu \mathrm{m}, $$ with air between them.
Explain how it can present different colors to your two eyes simultaneously, which is a characteristic of iridescence.


Solution

Your two eyes receive light reflected from the feather at different angles, so they receive light incident at different angles and containing different colors reinforced by constructive interference.

Physics
NCERT
Standard XII

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