The secret behind feather iridescence lies in how tiny structures interfere with light. These structures are fine enough to produce color through the warping of light rather than pigmentation.
Understanding how color works at a structural level could be useful for the development of sensors in medical and security applications.
With all of this in mind, we can expect the world to become a lot more colorful in the next few years.
"We are on the threshold of a new era of color science, and the interdisciplinary nature of this collaborative enterprise holds enormous promise," the authors conclude.
The research is published in Science.