Spiderweb Diffraction HD

Sunlight reflected off a spider's web takes on a range of brilliant colors, thanks to the phenomenon of diffraction.
The fibers of a spider's web, just a few hundreds of nanometers across and coated in a thin layer of dew, scatters light at an angle that depends on its wavelength, creating the prismatic effect seen here.

October 9, 2015

A few months ago, we posted a Physics in Pictures piece on a spiderweb that seemed to have the properties of a diffraction grating. Recently, reader Vineeth Mathews sent us his photo of the same phenomenon, which was too amazing not to share! You can click the image to view it in greater detail, or click here to learn more about how diffraction happens. If you have a physics-related picture that you'd like to see featured on PhysicsCentral, please contact us!