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  • 00:16
     
    #biological pigments, also known as biochromes   
    Artists use paint, dyes and ink to make their creations. Nature draws on a palette of biological pigments, also known as biochromes.
  • 00:26
     
    #structural color   
    But there's another way of producing color. It's called "structural color." And it harnesses the physics of light at the nanoscale.
  • 01:01
     
    #structural color. It gives their wings a vibrant, iridescent blue   
    But the other side is all about structural color. It gives their wings a vibrant, iridescent blue hue.
  • 01:18
     
    #grow the wings in a Petri dish   
    Researchers want to see how structural color takes shape on the wings, but normally this happens inside the pupae, which is opaque. So they've figured out how to remove the morpho wings from the pupae and grow the wings in a Petri dish.
  • 01:53
     
    #constructive interference   
    When light hits these ridges, a phenomena called constructive interference comes into play.
  • 01:59
     
    #Close up of ridges that produce blue   
    Close up of ridges that produce blue

What Gives the Morpho Butterfly Its Magnificent Blue?

What does it mean to be blue? The wings of a Morpho butterfly are some of the most brilliant structures in nature, and yet they contain no blue pigment -- they harness the physics of light at the nanoscale. Learn more about these butterflies: http://goo.gl/dGo5XE SUBSCRIBE: http://goo.gl/8NwXqt Funding for Deep Look is provided in part by PBS Digital Studios and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Deep Look is a project of KQED Science, which is supported by HopeLab, The David B. Gold Foundation; S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation; The Dirk and Charlene Kabcenell Foundation; The Vadasz Family Foundation; Smart Family Foundation and the members of KQED.






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