October 23, 2012

How a fish 'broke' a law of physics

Silvery fish such as herring, sardine and sprat are "breaking" a basic law of physics, according to new research from the University of Bristol published today in Nature Photonics.

Reflective surfaces polarize light, a phenomenon that fishermen or photographers overcome by using polarizing sunglasses or polarizing filters to cut our reflective glare.  However, PhD student Tom Jordan and his supervisors Professor Julian Partridge and Dr Nicholas Roberts in Bristol's School of Biological Sciences found that these silvery fish have overcome this basic law of reflection – an adaptation that may help them evade predators.

journal reference (abstract free): nature Photonics >>

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