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How Butterflies` Colours Could Cut Bank Fraud

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posted on May, 31 2010 @ 03:54 AM

From Butterflies' Wings to Bank Notes: How Nature's Colours Could Cut Bank Fraud

Scientists have discovered a way of mimicking the stunningly bright and beautiful colours found on the wings of tropical butterflies. The findings could have important applications in the security printing industry, helping to make bank notes and credit cards harder to forge.

The striking iridescent colours displayed on beetles, butterflies and other insects have long fascinated both physicists and biologists, but mimicking nature's most colourful, eye-catching surfaces has proved elusive. This is partly because rather than relying on pigments, these colours are produced by light bouncing off microscopic structures on the insects' wings.

Because of their shape and the fact that they are made up of alternate layers of cuticle and air, these structures produce intense colours. Using a combination of nanofabrication procedures -- including self-assembly and atomic layer deposition -- Kolle and his colleagues made structurally identical copies of the butterfly scales, and these copies produced the same vivid colours as the butterflies' wings. According to Kolle: "We have unlocked one of nature's secrets and combined this knowledge with state-of-the-art nanofabrication to mimic the intricate optical designs found in nature."

"These artificial structures could be used to encrypt information in optical signatures on banknotes or other valuable items to protect them against forgery. We still need to refine our system but in future we could see structures based on butterflies wings shining from a £10 note or even our passports," he says. Intriguingly, the butterfly may also be using its colours to encrypt itself -- appearing one colour to potential mates but another colour to predators.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 04:15 AM
I know a really good anti counterfeit technique-

I have a feeling the next phase in the anti counterfeit move the governments will truly engender is virtual money. Just like your debit cards and credit cards. Watch for the implementation of no cash, this will be the sign of their true agenda.

Until someone can make gold from lead, it seems to be the best anti-counterfeit device out there. Especially since the government can print up fiat (fake) money all they want.

edit-for some reason the pic is not showing up. I wonder if it is because of my PeerBlock?

[edit on 5/31/2010 by endisnighe]

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 05:11 AM
reply to post by endisnighe

Very nice post, and I was going to say that it was nice to see something uplifting. Your follow up response just sounded so negative, and it's not even really related when you think about it. They wouldn't invest money in nanotechnology to discover this if they were going to stop printing money.

I personally really liked the discovery, and if it makes our money more secure, well that's better than it being able to be printed by anyone at home, which further devalues our currency.

And, yay for butterflies because they are beautiful!

Try seeing the bright side! It feels better even if things can be seen as ugly too!

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 10:35 AM

Originally posted by endisnighe
I know a really good anti counterfeit technique-

That may be better but it's not free of counterfeiting issues either:

Largest Private Refinery Discovers Gold-Plated Tungsten Bar

Wilfried Hörner, the head of the gold foundry, shows a 500 gram bar (16.0755 troy ounces) received from an unidentified bank. The bar had the right physical dimensions to be an authentic gold bar, but one of the Heraeus employees suspected something funny. After the bar was cut in half, you can see that the inside is tungsten, with only a coating of gold on the outside.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Rumors about fake gold bars circulating around central banks, ETF's, commodities exchanges, and government vaults have been circulating around for a while. Even the LBMA's certified 'gold delivery bars' are rumored to be turning up fake.

That nanofabrication process sounds interesting and perhaps effective, however I wonder about the cost and feasibility for large scale production of currency. I guess we'll see.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 10:40 AM
reply to post by Arbitrageur

Yes, I knew about that was going to come up. But, those are only in large bars that these have been found.

I wonder if a simple weight with a volume test could be used to determine the density of those bars?

I knew I should have included that in the comment.

Also, coins use to get shaved, that is why grooves were placed into coins. That way one could tell if they had been eased of a little metal. But then scales could be used to determine if they had been shaved also. Purity could also be another counterfeit technique.

Okay, metals could be counterfeited also.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by sandri_90

Nice OP and very interesting info.
I also enjoyed the part about how butterfly's may be encoding themselves to appear differently to predators than they do to others of their own kind.

BTW I realize the trend so far in this thread is not even mentioning your interesting OP, so sorry I went against the grain.

posted on May, 31 2010 @ 11:06 AM
reply to post by Chamberf=6

I liked the butterflies encoding themselves part too.

[edit on 31/5/10 by sandri_90]


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