This is an optical microscope image of a liquid crystal (Cromlyn in water). The colors are created by molecular variations or changes in the crystal's thickness.
Liquid crystals have properties of both liquids and solids: Although they can flow like a fluid, their molecules are highly ordered, like those found in solid crystals. The ubiquitous liquid crystal displays (LCDs) found in everything from watches to cell phones are made possible by devices that rapidly alter the structure of these substances—and therefore the way they interact with light.
Gary Koenig, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The sample is 350 µm wide.
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