Lasers Make Other Metals Look Like Gold - New York Times:
In a feat of optical alchemy, Dr. Guo, a professor of optics at the University of Rochester, and Anatoliy Y. Vorobyev, a postdoctoral researcher, use ultrashort laser bursts to pockmark the surface of a metal in a way that is not perceptible to the touch — it still feels smooth to the finger — but that alters how the metal absorbs and reflects light.
The result is that pure aluminum looks like gold, and the appearance is literally skin deep.
“I cannot tell it’s not gold,” Dr. Guo said. “It looks very pretty.”
Dr. Guo and Dr. Vorobyev reported their findings in the journal Applied Physics Letters published online Thursday.