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Thin Film Interference
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Thin Film Interference

Who would think that asking the question, “Why are soap bubbles colorful?” could lead to a proof that light travels in waves?

But soap bubbles, oil slicks, and other thin films are more important than they look. New kinds may be key to new transistors, protective coatings, and solar cells. They've already made possible big improvements to screens like the one you’re looking at now.

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The Many Layers of Innovation

The Many Layers of Innovation

What do you get when you pile up thin films? A thin film. At 3M, such films (still no thicker than a Post-it Note) are being used to make things like images the size of buildings. More...

Article
3M
Free from Night

Free from Night

New Vision designed a solar powered lamp that was easy to assemble and cheap to make. It wasn't bright enough, though, for studying after sundown in Kenya. See how solar mirror film led to a "light bulb moment." More...

Video
3M
Net Power

Net Power

What if your computer was powered by the Internet rather than an outlet? That's the goal behind the new One Wire Computer currently in development. Take a closer look at its "secret ingredient." More...

Article
3M
Display Films

Display Films

The quality of the films on your display depends on the quality of the films in your display. Thin films shape, reflect, and conserve light. More...

Interactive
3M
Exploring Materials: Thin Films

Exploring Materials: Thin Films

Make a thin film out of nail polish and watch it come alive with color. Yet the polish started out clear. What is it about thinness that makes all those reds, greens, and blues? More...

Activity
Sciencenter, Ithaca, NY
How OLEDs Work

How OLEDs Work

Giant TVs you can roll up may be coming to your living room. Inside these "OLED" TVs, thin films of organic molecules emit light. OLED stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode. More...

Article
HowStuffWorks
Thin Film Has ‘Astonishing’ Ability to Rotate Light

Thin Film Has ‘Astonishing’ Ability to Rotate Light

Imagine a computer chip that uses light instead of electricity. It could be on its way, thanks to the discovery that a kind of thin film can give light a giant twist. More...

Article
Physics World
Thin Film Interference

Thin Film Interference

Thin films of soap or oil glisten with color and also prove that light is made of waves. More...

Article
The Physics Classroom
Thin Film Physics

Thin Film Physics

In space, water forms into thin films with amazing properties, as an astronaut demonstrates. More...

Video
NASA/American Physical Society

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