Tempering colors

Hi, I have a question about tempering colors. I understand that the colors give a visual indication of how far the temper has been drawn, but why do those colors occur? Does it have something to do with oxidation?

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Tempering steel by color is an old time method - but it's not very precise. The surface film thickness grows with temperature, and provides a color tell tale via an interference effect - like oil film color on water.

Brian Whatcott Altus OK

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Brian Whatcott

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