A Simple Home Experiment That Recreates The Rainbow

   

A Simple Home Experiment For The Questioning Mind.

We have seen the beauty of a rainbow spread across the sky after a rainstorm. There many fables that go with this such what lies at the end of it. It turns out that it is not a pot good or a Leprechaun, in fact there is no real end as the appearance of rainbow absolutely depends on the position of the observer.

So where do all these beautiful colors come from and why are they always in the same order?

White light is refracted into it component colors

White light is refracted into it component colors

A simple home experiment using a specially cut piece of glass known as a prism shows us what is going on.You can buy an inexpensive prism on places like Amazon, Alibaba or Ebay.

The prism breaks the white light by frequency or wavelength

The prism breaks the white light by frequency or wavelength

For a source of bright white light, you can use the flash on your smart phone that doubles as a flashlight. Turn off the lights and have some fun?

The color and order of colors is always the same

The color and order of colors is always the same

You should notice that the colors are always the same and in the same order after leaving the prism. Red, orange,Yellow,Green,Blue,indigo and violet.

The video does a good job of explaining the simple physics of what is happening at the boundary of the air to prism and then prism to air. The separation of wavelengths caused by these boundaries produce what we know as colors.

How We Can Learn From A Simple Home Experiment Like This One.

As with most great experiments you are left with more questions and the one that comes to mind for this experiment is if white light is made up of all of these different colors why do we see it as white? Do they all add together to be white? Can we put the colors back together in a reverse manor with another prism and make white light again?

I am sure you must have more questions as well?

How about what: “What causes a double rainbow like the one in this now viral video of a man very very excited about seeing a double rainbow an catching it on video”?