Catching rainbows: a magnifying lens & a plate of glass, has been used to trap a rainbow for the first time.
New Scientist reports that when Vera Smolyaninova of Towson University in Baltimore, Maryland, and colleagues shone a multi-wavelength laser beam at the open end of a gilded waveguide, a trapped rainbow formed inside. This could be seen as a series of coloured rings when the lens was viewed from above with a microscope: the visible light leaked through the thin gold film.
"I think it's beautiful that we can create such complex phenomena using a very, very simple configuration," says Smolyaninova. "It's amazing."