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Proceedings Paper

Colored reflections from the black-billed magpie feathers
Author(s): Jean Pol Vigneron; Virginie Lousse
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Paper Abstract

The structural origin of the weak iridescence on some of the dark feathers of the black-billed magpie, Pica pica (Corvidae), is found in the structure of the ribbon-shaped barbules. The cortex of these barbules contains cylindrical holes distributed as the nodes of an hexagonal lattice in the hard layer cross-section. The cortex optical properties are described starting from a photonic-crystal film theory. The yellowish-green coloration of the bird's tail can be explained by the appearance of a reflection band related to the photonic-crystal lowest-lying gap. The bluish reflections from the wings are produced by a more complicated mechanism, involving the presence of a cortex "second gap".

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 August 2006
PDF: 5 pages
Proc. SPIE 6285, The Nature of Light: Light in Nature, 628508 (14 August 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.682243
Show Author Affiliations
Jean Pol Vigneron, Facultés Univ. Notre-Dame de la Paix (Belgium)
Virginie Lousse, Facultés Univ. Notre-Dame de la Paix (Belgium)
Stanford Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6285:
The Nature of Light: Light in Nature
Katherine Creath, Editor(s)

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