In this project, we are going to capture those colorful patterns on paper, in a permanent form, so you can view them anytime you like, without a messy puddle.
The colors are caused by the interactions of several interesting qualities of light. Light travels at different speeds in different materials. In air, or the vacuum of space, it travels very fast (about 299,792,458 meters per second). In water, light travels 1 and one third slower than it does in air. We say water has a refractive index of 1.33. In the film we made from the drop of nail polish, the light is even slower, since the dried nail polish has a refractive index of 1.42. Light travels in waves. We can picture the waves of light as looking like waves of water in the ocean. The waves come by in parallel rows, one behind the other.
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