Iridescence

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MFA Acc. #: 72.422

Description

The shimmery color effect seen on butterfly wings, soap bubbles, or with a thin oil film on water. Iridescence is caused by the diffraction of light between two adjacent materials with different refractive indices. Divitrified glass sometimes has an iridescent sheen due to the thin surface scales.

Synonyms and Related Terms

iridescent

Additional Images


Sources Checked for Data in Record

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)

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