November 2023 Thinking Beyond - Super black and solar-powered animals

Thinking Beyond

  November 27, 2023


  Zoom Webinar

Register / RSVP

The “Thinking Beyond” webinar series features renowned physicists Paul Davies, Sara Walker and Maulik Parikh from the Beyond Center for Fundamental Concepts in Science at Arizona State University and addresses big questions/topics in science. This month, Cody McCoy will present the topic and will be joined by Paul Davies and Maulik Parikh.

November 2023 webinar - Super black and solar-powered animals

Animals use marvelous physics to interact with the world. For example, "super black" birds birds-of-paradise and peacock spiders trap >99% of light to create ultra-dark black color. These birds and spiders use tiny structures to trap sunlight, which creates an optical illusion to make nearby colors appear brighter. Underwater, coral reefs depend on the physics of strange, solar-powered animals: corals, clams, sponges, and more live in a symbiosis with photosynthetic algae. These reef creatures like corals and clams harness sunlight for photosynthesis using physical structures. For example, a strange clam called the heart cockle uses bundled fiber optic cables to make windows in its shell. These super black and solar-powered animals have natural innovations which can inspire new sustainable solar power technologies of our own!

Please submit any advance questions to or you can also submit them during the webinar!