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Physics/Paper Film


QUESTION: Are there any paper thin films that are largely transparent but do appear opaque to very narrow or just one wavelength of light?

ANSWER: Yes.  A good interference filter is best, but they don't make those in large sizes.  There are plenty of films with quite a narrow range of transmission, like the stuff they made the old 3D movie glasses from.

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QUESTION: I ask because I have a good movie projector and was thinking if I had a bunch of clear films that only become opaque to certain wavelengths I could create a 3D shape within a block of films that go through the spectrum. Does that seem possible?

You're dealing with too many layers to be practical at all, and transmission of something like that would only be transmitting a percentage of the light, like 90%.  After 10-ish layers there wouldn't be enough left.  It's an interesting concept, but in practice it just wouldn't work.  And you'd have to project in as many colors as you blocked, one projection over the other...not doable.


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Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

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