Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Psychedelic colors in diamond dust

Occasionally diamond dust glints in pink and and cyan colors. Walt Tape, who saw the effect once in Fairbanks, called it as the psychedelic colors. Here are a couple of photos of one psychedelic case this winter. The image above is a maximum stack of 19 frames with 2.5 and 1 second exposures. Below is a single frame with 2.5 second exposure. And below that a maximum stack of 9 frames with 6 s exposures. Colors have been observed so far only in spotlight displays. How they come about, I don't know. A crystal sample could give some answers.


  1. Those highly saturated colors, with green-cyan and pink dominating definitely look like 2 layer interference colors. Like the colors of a soap film, gasoline on the ground, or supernumeraries in rainbows. Very thin plates, a few microns thick, should be able to produce such colorés by interferences of 1 ans 1-2-1 rays. Getting images of crystals should be able to tell if such crystals are present

  2. Now that you say it, it is an obvious solution to the problem. Great! I have not taken a single sample this winter but here it was close. The gasoline bottle was in my hand already. But then realized the microscope extension pipe for photography was left at the apartment. Well, it wasn't. It was in the car, as I realized with some resignation some time later when display was over. The season is still on, guns are running right now as I speak, and the weather will be staying cold, so with some luck we don't have to wait until next season for that sample.

  3. I had those color happen when I did a paint gun halo

  4. Aha, you had a go at the pain gun method? Any good displays, in addition to the psychedelic colors?

    1. Yes I did and I did see the strange colors even with naked eye!!

  5. Yes, the colors are very much visible to the naked eye.