The Exploratorium
Science Snacks
Snacks about Color

Snack name


Benham's Disk

A rotating black-and-white disk produces the illusion of color.

Bird in the Cage

Stare at a color and see it change.

Blue Sky

Now you can explain why the sky is blue and the sunset is red.

Bone Stress

Polarized light reveals stress patterns in clear plastic

Bridge Light

A thin layer of air trapped between two pieces of Plexiglas™ produces rainbow-colored interference patterns.

Colored Shadows

Shadows are not all black and white.

Give and Take

Dark-colored materials both absorb and emit energy more readily than light-colored materials.

Glue Stick Sunset

The scattering of light by the atmosphere, which creates the blue sky and red sunsets, can be modeled when light from a flashlight shines through clear glue sticks.

Gray Step

Without a boundary, it's hard to distinguish different shades of gray.

Laser Jello

Use gelatin as a smoked lens, to view total internal reflection, and as a color filter.

Polarized Light Mosaic

With polarized light, you can make a stained glass window without glass.

Rotating Light

Polarized light passing through sugar, water "rotates" to reveal beautiful colors.

Soap Bubbles

Create geometric art with soap films.


Fingerprints for light sources.