Science with Shields: Episode #44 – Rainbow Paper

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ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to make rainbow paper!

What you need: 

  1. Clear Nail Polish
  2. Black Cardstock Paper
  3. Water
  4. Bowl
  5. Paper Towels
  6. Scissors

Instructions:

Cut your black cardstock paper into little squares. Fill a bowl with water and put a drop of clear nail polish into the water. Dip the black cardstock paper into water for a few seconds. Quickly pull the paper out and put it on a paper towel to dry. It may take a few times, but you should get an iridescent rainbow on your black cardstock paper. Again, this can take a bit of patience before you get the desired rainbow design you want. 

Science: 

What gives the paper an iridescent look or a look where the colors change from different angles is because of thin-film interference. Due to this film, it allows the light to be reflected on it to be at different wavelengths giving it that rainbow look. This happens when oil is on the ground after rain, or even with a soap bubble. 

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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