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The PhotoNotes.org Dictionary of Film and Digital Photography.

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Newton's rings.

Also “Newton rings.” Concentric coloured rings which appear when two pieces of glass or clear plastic are pressed together. A problem with glass negative carriers and a phenomenon discovered by English physicist Sir Isaac Newton (1643-1727).

The rings appear when there’s a tiny air gap between two pieces of clear material. Light rays encounter destructive interference if the gap is of a certain size relative to the wavelength, resulting in the effect. It’s most pronounced if a convex lens is pressed up against a perfectly flat glass surface.

cf. anti-Newton glass, light interference, negative carrier, popping.

Entry last updated 2002-05-09. Term 832 of 1487.


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