Physics in Pictures

Quantum Mechanics

Light refracts through an empty glass to produce a rainbow of color

Dispersion Reveals Coffee at the End of the Rainbow

Dispersion through a glass splits light into its component colors.


There's something amiss about this prismatic rainbow—can you spot it?

ROYGBIV...B?

There's something amiss about this prismatic rainbow—can you spot it?


Well beyond the density of anything we’ve observed, hypothetical types of matter exhibit bizarre and beautiful optics.

Too Big to Cast a Shadow

How can something be too big to cast a shadow?


Electron beam-induced etching (EBIE) conquers nature's hardest surface with ease.

Diamonds are for Etching

Electron beam-induced etching (EBIE) conquers nature's hardest surface with ease.


Water droplets on the strands of a spider's web act as tiny prisms, creating a metallic rainbow of colors.

Spiderweb Diffraction HD

The dewy strands of a spiderweb can form a natural diffraction grating