Pronunciation: [ɡˈə͡ʊnɪˌɒkɹə͡ʊmˌɪzəm] (IPA)

Goniochromism is a scientific term used to describe the phenomenon of color change as viewed from different angles. The spelling of the word can be explained using IPA phonetic transcription as [ɡoʊnɪoʊkroʊmɪzəm], where the letters 'g', 'o', 'n', 'i', 'o', 'c', 'h', 'r', 'o', 'm', and 'i' represent their respective sounds. The 'e' in the suffix '-ism' is not pronounced. Despite its complex spelling, the word is derived from the Greek words 'gonia' (angle) and 'chroma' (color), making it easier to understand its meaning.

GONIOCHROMISM Meaning and Definition

  1. Goniochromism refers to a phenomenon associated with the reflection or scattering of light that causes a change in color depending on the angle of observation or illumination. It is a property exhibited by certain materials or substances, particularly those with a structured or textured surface.

    In goniochromism, the perceived color of an object can vary as the angle of incident light or the viewing angle changes. This effect is a result of the interaction between the wavelengths of light and the specific structure or composition of the material. The color change observed in goniochromic materials often occurs due to interference, diffraction, refraction, or other similar optical phenomena.

    Goniochromic materials can be found in various natural and manufactured objects, such as certain minerals, opals, butterfly wings, and some types of coatings or paints. These materials often possess unique optical properties that can produce striking visual effects or iridescence.

    Understanding goniochromism is important in various fields like materials science, optics, and art conservation. It enables scientists and researchers to investigate the interaction of light with complex surfaces, develop new materials, create visually stunning designs, and preserve and restore different types of artifacts.

    In summary, goniochromism describes the phenomenon of color change in materials as a result of the angle of observation or illumination. It is a fascinating optical property that contributes to the diversity and beauty of the colors we perceive in the world around us.


The word "goniochromism" is derived from two roots: "gonio" and "chromism".

1. "Gonio" comes from the Greek word "gonía" (γωνία), which means "angle" or "corner". In scientific contexts, "gonio-" refers to angular measurements or properties.

2. "Chromism" comes from the Greek word "chrôma" (χρώμα), meaning "color". "Chromism" is a suffix used to denote changes in color or color-related phenomena.

Combining these roots, "goniochromism" refers to the phenomenon of color changes that occur with variations in viewing angle or illumination angle. It is commonly observed in certain materials, such as iridescent surfaces or specialized pigments.