Zoom into a Blue Morpho Butterfly video

Zoom into the natural nanostructures that manipulate light on a Blue Morpho Butterfly! Starting with a normal digital camera, we zoom into the wing of the Blue Morpho using more powerful microscopes. We see the wing underneath an optical microscope, and finally, a scanning electron microscope. You'll see the 200 nanometer structures that produce the beautiful blue iridescent color of the Blue Morpho.

Combined Zoom Poster: Everything Is Made of Atoms (Butterfly, Bloodstream, Computer Chip)

This poster aligns zooms into three familiar objects - a human heart, a butterfly's wing, and a laptop computer. Using the conventions of visual perspective the image travels in one continuous “landscape” from the human scale at the top to the atomic scale in the foreground. As the scale gets smaller and smaller, these disparate objects resolve to individual atoms, highlighting the concept that everything is made of atoms.

Changing Colors

Changing Colors is an interactive exhibit that shows how some high-tech nanomaterials mimic natural phenomena. Super-small, light-reflecting structures—instead of pigments—on the wings of some butterflies create intense, iridescent colors. Nanoscientists have replicated this effect with layered, super-thin films. Watch the colors change on butterfly wings and thin-film slides as you move them beneath a light source, and discover how nanoscale structures can manipulate light and create color. Butterfly specimens deteriorate with heavy use, and may need to be replaced periodically.

Online Brown-Bag: The Science Behind NanoDays 2013 Activities - Part Two: Laddering Activities Around Polymers and Light at the Nanoscale (Recorded)

This is a recording of a NISE Network online brown-bag conversation held in 2013 focused on the science behind NISE Net activities related to polymers or light at the nanoscale. The following activities were discussed:

• Exploring Fabrication - Gummy Capsules • Exploring Materials - Hydrogel • Exploring Structures - Butterfly • Exploring Materials - Thin Films • Exploring Properties - Invisibility

Presented by: Rashmi Nanjundaswamy and Lizzie Hager-Barnard, Lawrence Hall of Science, Univeristy of California, Berkely

Scientific Image - Blue Morpho Butterfly

The iridescent colors of the Blue Morpho Butterfly's wings are produced by nanostructures that reflect different wavelengths of light.

The Blue Morpho is common in Central and South America and known for its bright blue wings. However, these iridescent colors are created not by pigments in the wing tissues but instead by the way light interacts with nanometer-sized structures on the Morpho's wing scales. This effect is being studied as a model in the development of new fabrics, dye-free paints, and anti-counterfeit technologies for currency.


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