Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Better sunscreen for windows...from beetles?

Researchers at the University of British Columbia are channeling brightly-colored Jewel Beetles in their development of iridescent glass that could help with energy conservation in buildings.

Iridescent objects have surfaces that appear to change color depending on the angle at which they are viewed. Common examples of iridescent objects are soap bubbles, sea shells and butterflies' wings.

The glass developed by the Canadian researchers takes advantage of the properties of iridescent materials to reflect specific wavelengths of ultra violet, visible or infrared light. The reflective properties of the glass allows it to keep warm radiation inside on cold days and outside on hot days.

To learn more about this new research that appeared recently in the journal Nature, listen to this Physics Buzz podcast below:

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