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SSS 2010-06-07

时间:2010-07-12 06:34来源:互联网 提供网友:uv4313   字体: [ ]
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This is Scientific American's 60-Second Science, I am Cynthia Graber. This will just take a minute.

Counterfeiters and money minters constantly try to outsmart each other. But money could become much harder to forge—thanks to butterfly wings.

Butterflies that flit through tropical forests often have brightly colored wings that irridesce in the sun. But it’s not pigments1 that create those eye-catching shades. It’s microscopic2 structures on the insects’ wings that reflect the light.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge studied an Indonesian butterfly known as the peacock or swallowtail. Scales on the wings are made up of tiny structures that researchers say resemble the inside of an egg carton, with alternating layers of cuticle3 and air. The light bounces off the structures so that the scales appear to us as a shimmering4 green. But using optical equipment that can polarize light, those scales appear bright blue.

Researchers used nanofabrication techniques to create scales structurally5 identical to the butterflies’, and the structures presented the same gorgeous color. The research appeared in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Using the ‘now it’s green, now it’s blue’ technique that the butterflies have evolved, the scientists say we might be able to design money or credit cards that are much harder to copy. And perhaps add colorful flair6 in the process.

Thanks for the minute for Scientific American's 60-Second Science. I am Cynthia Graber.
 


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1 pigments 90c719a2ef7a786d9af119297e63a36f     
n.(粉状)颜料( pigment的名词复数 );天然色素
参考例句:
  • The Romans used natural pigments on their fabrics and walls. 古罗马人在织物和墙壁上使用天然颜料。 来自辞典例句
  • The original white lead pigments have oxidized and turned black. 最初的白色铅质颜料氧化后变成了黑色。 来自辞典例句
2 microscopic nDrxq     
adj.微小的,细微的,极小的,显微的
参考例句:
  • It's impossible to read his microscopic handwriting.不可能看清他那极小的书写字迹。
  • A plant's lungs are the microscopic pores in its leaves.植物的肺就是其叶片上微细的气孔。
3 cuticle innzc     
n.表皮
参考例句:
  • You'd never puncture the cuticle.你无法刺穿表皮。
  • The reform has hardly made a scratch upon the cuticle of affairs.改革几乎还没有触到事物的表皮。
4 shimmering 0a3bf9e89a4f6639d4583ea76519339e     
v.闪闪发光,发微光( shimmer的现在分词 )
参考例句:
  • The sea was shimmering in the sunlight. 阳光下海水波光闪烁。
  • The colours are delicate and shimmering. 这些颜色柔和且闪烁微光。 来自辞典例句
5 structurally b9ab462aabf667bfba00ea360ed6c929     
在结构上
参考例句:
  • The house roof was (structurally) unsound. 这屋顶(结构)不牢固。
  • Pinhole on shot-hole damage is never structurally significant. 针孔和蛀洞所造成的危害对结构的影响不大。
6 flair 87jyQ     
n.天赋,本领,才华;洞察力
参考例句:
  • His business skill complements her flair for design.他的经营技巧和她的设计才能相辅相成。
  • He had a natural flair for business.他有做生意的天分。
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