The tidiness was also odd because water mixtures are generally not described as have both fluidity and order.
Yasuhiro Ishida, a coauthor on the paper published in Nature Communications, told Phys.Org that the mixture's features were contradictory.
Ishida and his colleagues found that the separation between the colloids corresponded with a wavelength of light, in other words a color, which is why the water turned purple.
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The color changes when the distance between the colloids changes. To get it to change, the scientist expose it to different stimuli, such as a magnetic field, different temperatures, or different pH levels.
The scientists called their mixture "photonic water," and found that it could be tuned with the various stimuli to reflect all colors of the rainbow including some parts of the infrared spectrum.
"Considering the stimuli responsiveness and the wide-range color modulability, our photonic water may find various applications as smart optical devices, including optical sensors and displays, near-infrared band filters for telecommunications, variable photonic lasers, etc.," Ishida told Phys.Org.
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