Physics Seminar: Dr Andy Parnell

Centre for Computational Physics

Date: Wednesday 14th of June 2017, 14:00.
Location: MB1012 (Minerva Building).

‘Self-assembled structural colour in nature’

by A. J. Parnell, University of Sheffield.


The diversity and vividness of structural colour in the natural world has been known going back as far as William Hook in the 17th century; what has only relatively recently been recognised is the elegance and finesse of the physics used to create these effects.1,2 In this talk I will highlight some of the optical structures and effects responsible for colour in Butterfly scales, Bird feathers, and Beetle elytra (fig. 1) that have been studied to date.

We will also examine our current understanding of how these are created biologically and what control mechanisms nature has to produce such structures. In particular I will discuss the optical structure responsible for the colour of the Eurasian Jay feathers (Garrulus glandarius) where the…

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