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.PhysicsNCERTStandard XII

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