/ir'i des"euhns/, n.
iridescent quality; a play of lustrous, changing colors.
[1795-1805; IRID- + -ESCENCE]

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      interference of light either at the surface or in the interior of a material that produces a series of colours as the angle of incidence changes. Best known are the colours seen in precious opal resulting from the interference of light by submicroscopic layers of nearly spherical particles 1,500–3,000 angstroms in diameter that are arranged in a regular pattern. Common opal lacks this layering, and scattered light merely gives a milky opalescence. Internal iridescence is due to closely spaced fractures or lamellae such as planes of differing composition caused by exsolution. Most familiar are the colours of labradorite and peristerite resulting from lamellae about 1,000 angstroms thick. Surface iridescence occurs on some ore minerals (e.g., hematite and sphalerite).

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Universalium. 2010.

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(like those of the rainbow)

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Iridescence — Ir i*des cence, n. [See {Iridescent}.] Exhibition of colors like those of the rainbow, especially a surface reflection which changes color with the angle at which the object is viewed; the quality or state of being iridescent; a prismatic play of …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • iridescence — [iʀidesɑ̃s] n. f. ÉTYM. 1924, in D. D. L.; de iridescent. ❖ ♦ Littér. Caractère de ce qui est iridescent …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • iridescence — 1804, from IRRIDESCENT (Cf. irridescent) + ENCE (Cf. ence). Related: Irridescency (1799) …   Etymology dictionary

  • Iridescence — On parle de goniochromisme quand une surface paraît changer de couleur selon l angle sous lequel on la regarde ou selon l angle selon lequel elle est éclairée. Lorsque les couleurs sont celles de l iris, il s agit de l irisation. L iridescence… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Iridescence — Pearlescent redirects here. For the type of paint, see Pearlescent coatings. Iridescent redirects here. For the Linkin Park song, see Iridescent (song). Iridescence in soap bubbles …   Wikipedia

  • iridescence — noun Date: 1804 1. a lustrous rainbowlike play of color caused by differential refraction of light waves (as from an oil slick, soap bubble, or fish scales) that tends to change as the angle of view changes 2. a lustrous or attractive quality or… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • iridescence — iridescent ► ADJECTIVE ▪ showing luminous colours that seem to change when seen from different angles. DERIVATIVES iridescence noun iridescently adverb. ORIGIN from Latin iris rainbow …   English terms dictionary

  • iridescence — n. [L. iris, rainbow] A rainbow like display of interference colors that change with variations of the angle of view, due to diffraction of light reflected from ribbed or finely striated surfaces; iridescent adj …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

  • iridescence — noun a) The condition or state of being iridescent; exhibition of colors like those of the rainbow; a prismatic play of color. b) Any shimmer of glittering and changeable colors …   Wiktionary

  • iridescence — iri·des·cence (ir″ĭ desґəns) [L. iridescere to gleam like a rainbow] the condition of gleaming with bright and changing colors …   Medical dictionary

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