Interfering Iridescence

When we look closely, what was once domestic can seem otherworldly. Go beyond the everyday with this incredible vision of iridescence in its simplest form.

Light waves, like water waves, can interfere with each other. A bubble film is a sort of sandwich: a layer of soap molecules, a filling of water molecules, and then another layer of soap molecules. When light waves reflecting from one layer of soap molecules meet up with light waves reflecting from the second layer of soap molecules, the two sets of waves interfere.

Some waves add together, making certain frequencies or colours of light brighter. Other waves cancel each other out, removing a frequency or colour from the mixture. The colours that you see are what’s left after the light waves interfere. They’re called interference colours.