blog post

Invisibility Cloaks & Tomato Juice – Two Videos About Light & Color

Last month we posted “Light Can Do Way More Than Bend: Part 2,” in which we talked about using lasers to create a particular type of metamaterial from gold nanoparticles. One exciting application for metamaterials research is the development of invisibility technology, and now the ACS Reactions team has produced a great little video explaining more about this topic: “Are Invisibility Cloaks Possible?”

Another recent video relevant to our blog is the very first episode of Chem-Lapsed, a new time-lapse video series from C&E News. In “How the Fruits Got Their Colors,” we described the importance of the molecule lycopene in the red color we see in tomatoes. In their “Tomato Juice Rainbow” demo, Chem-Lapsed shows how the interaction between bromine water and lycopene can produce  a rainbow of colors:

Videos like these can help illuminate (ha!) how we perceive light and color, which involves phenomena that are much too small to see with the naked eye. Molecules like lycopene are even smaller than a nanometer, and visible light wavelengths are about 400-700 nanometers, which is why nanoscience research is so relevant to the development of metamaterials and other cutting-edge technologies.

Do you have any favorite videos or activities for demonstrating how we see light and color?