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Iridescences: The Physical Colors of Insects

By: Serge Berthier(Author)

160 pages, colour photos, colour & b/w illustrations


Hardback | Jan 2007 | #160545 | ISBN-13: 9780387341194
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £129.99 $169/€148 approx

About this book

Language: English, also available in French

Butterflies and coleoptera are the most beautifully coloured insects we can find. This book wants to understand the origin of these brilliant colours from a physics perspective. The different physical phenomena are explained and numerous colour illustrations shown.

"Berthier is a professor of physics at the University of Paris Diderot – 7 and researches biological structures, colors and biomimetics at Pierre and Marie Curie University. [...] If you want to see some wonderful photographs that show the intricate and delicate structures of insect wings, then Berthier's book fit the bill."
- George Kattawar, Physics Today, February, 2008

"The colors of insects are amazing, and this book is a remarkable showcase for them. There are a lot of colorful insect photographs, micrographs and illustrations. The physics behind insect colors is explained in a simple and clear manner. [...] I read the book with interest and I recommend it to both physicists and biologists."
- Dejan Pantelic, Optics and Photonics News, July/August, 2007

"The book investigates the physical basis of color in nature [...] . This is a fascinating book [...] bringing together the interests of biologists and physicists. It is well written and succeeds in explaining physical principles and phenomena to the non-physicist. [...] The book is illustrated throughout with beautiful color images of the whole organism [...] . clearly designed graphs and diagrams assist in illustrating physical principles. [...] it will find its way into many university libraries – this book certainly deserves a broad audience."
- Hannelore Hoch, Deutsche Entomologische Zeitschrift, Vol. 56 (1), 2009


1 Iridescence
2 Why Colors?
3 The Lepidoptera
4 The Coleoptera
5 Physical and Chemical Colors: Solid-State Optics
6 Structures at 1-Dimension: Interferences
7 Structures at 2-Dimensions: Interferences and Diffraction
8 Structures at 3-Dimensions: Crystalline Diffraction
9 Amorphous Structures: Diffusion
10 Pigments and Pigment Colors
11 Thermoregulation and Spectral Selectivity
12 Vision and Colorimetry
13 Conclusion References Index

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Serge Berthier teaches physics at the Denis Diderot-Paris 7 University and researches biologic structures, colors and biomimetism at the Institut des NanoSciences de Paris ( Pierre and Marie Curie-Paris 6 University and CNRS). He teaches solid state optics in the post-graduate degree "Optics and material" and the post-graduate research degree "Optics and Photonic" for the Denis Diderot University. He also teaches electromagnetism and laser physics to undergraduates at the Paris-Jussieu Institut of Technology.

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