Perhaps one of the most fascinating physical characteristics of ancient glass is a phenomenon known as iridescence. This effect is not a result of a glassmaker's technique or his materials, but rather simply the passage of time. Over the centuries, the natural weathering of glass causes its thin layers to slightly separate from one another and flake away, leading to a refraction of light between each layer. The result is a prism effect created by bouncing rays of light, producing an iridescent appearance.
1. Perfume bottle 1st–4th century C.E.
2. Blown ribbed bowl 1st Century C.E.
3. Roman candlestick 2-3rd Century C.E.
DELICATE BEAUTY: THE HISTORY OF ANCIENT GLASS
Natural rainbow Iris agate. Iris Agate is a unique type of thinly sliced Agate that exhibits a rainbow effect when held up to the sun or a light.
overturned beetle // aw14 issey miyake
Her wings a sea of stars
her body the inky infinite.
A cosmic protector
her grasp a shield against the dark.
Mother-of-pearl’s genesis identified in mineral’s transformation (Pupa Gilbert)
The iridescent shimmer that makes birds such as peacocks and hummingbirds so striking is rooted in a natural nanostructure so complex that people are only just beginning to replicate it technologically. The secret to how birds produce these brilliant colors lies in a key feature of the feather's nanoscale design, according to a study led by Princeton University researchers and published in the journal eLife.
The researchers found an evolutionary tweak in feather nanostructure that has more than doubled the range of iridescent colors birds can display. This insight could help researchers understand how and when brilliant iridescence first evolved in birds, as well as inspire the engineering of new materials that can capture or manipulate light.
As iridescent birds move, nanoscale structures within their feathers' tiny branch-like filaments -- known as barbules -- interact with light to amplify certain wavelengths depending on the viewing angle. This iridescence is known as structural coloration, wherein crystal-like nanostructures manipulate light.