Peacock Tails Reveal Photonic Crystals

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Peacock tails reveal photonic crystals, as described in New Scientist 18 October 2003, p18. The vivid colours of many bird feathers is not produced by coloured pigments but by light being refracted (bent) as it travels through the feather structure, like the rainbow colours coming from a prism. A group of scientists at Fudan University in Shanghai, China studied the microscopic structure of peacock feathers and found a two dimensional lattice structure of melanin rods and keratin on the surface of the tiny barbules in the feathers. This lattice acts as a photonic crystal, with the number and spacing of the rods determining the colour of that part of the feather.

Editorial Comment: Photonics is cutting edge technology, invented by clever physicists and engineers who are researching methods of using light in communication technology and computing. Therefore, finding photonic crystals in a living creature is irrefutable evidence it was designed and made by a much smarter physicist and engineer than those who invent dead photonic computers. (Ref. peacock, feathers, photonics)

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