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Changing colours: now you see them, now you don’t

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Nature offers a range of colour displays which are relatively short-lived and which were for many centuries little understood. Today we can explain most which arise from diffraction and reflection effects on rays of sunlight, various atmospheric ionisation phenomena and many colour effects resulting from biochemical reactions, although less is understood about some of the strange psychedelic patterns and colours which our brains can sometimes produce. The practical purposes to which certain fluorescent, thermochromic and photochromic dyes can be put, including their presently limited textile applications, are illustrated.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: 2010-08-01

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