Glowing Butterflies Shine With Natural LEDs

For 30 million years African swallowtail butterflies have dazzled their mates with glowing splashes of color on their wings. And the process they use to control the flow of light in their wings is strikingly similar to a technology that humans only recently developed, physicists report.

From the lasers used to read information on CDs and DVDs to the data carried across oceans along optical fibers, the control of light is essential to modern living.