Right Angle Prism

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  • This precision crafted right angle acrylic prism if the perfect little scientific toy or gift for all ages! Play with all sorts of light to see how the results change or leave it in your windowsill for a delightful display of colors at certain times of the day! This prism also includes instructions to learn secrets of prismatic effects!

    - Excellent student prism
    - More durable than glass
    - Comes complete with instructions to learn the secret of prismatic effects

    Age range: Ages 5+
    Material: Acylic
    Size: 1.75 Inch

    Did you know...
    That Sir Isaac Newton discovered that when you pass a white light through a glass prism the light would split into numerous colors (or the various wavelenghts that make up the light) creating a rainbow. To confirm this, Newton passed the rainbow created by one prism through another prism. When he did this, the rainbow recombined in the second prism producing white light once again!

    So how does a prism work?
    When light hits another surface such as water, glass, or in this case, acylic, the light is refracted (or changes speed). By this we mean that the light was moving fast in the air, but it slows down as it passes through the acylic, then speeds back up again once it leaves. Furthermore, when the light hits one of these surfaces at an angle (like the edge of an acrylic prism), the light refracts (changes speed, in this case slows down) but this time it bends causing the different colors that make up the light source to separate. So why do they separate? Since different colors or wavelenths travel at different speeds, each color to will bend at slightly different angle away from the entry point. The angle depends on how fast they are moving, slower light bends more (blue) and faster light bends less (red). As they exit, the light is refracted again (or the light is able to move more quickly again upon exiting causing them to bed again). The light remains separated since each color once again, left the prism at a different angle due to different speeds.

    To imagine this in a different way, imagine you are pushing a 2-wheeled cart (light) down the sidewalk (air) next to a thick-grassy feild (acrylic prism). You are able to push the cart down the sidewalk fairly quickly, however, when on the grass you move move slower. Now imagine you are on the sidewalk moving quickly but one of your wheels will drops off the edge into the grass. Since the wheel in the grass isn't able to move as quickly as the one on the sidewalk, the cart will begin to turn towards the grass (assuming you do not try to correct it). If you keep pushing like this, both wheels will eventually be on the grass. Once both wheels are on the grass they will both be going the same speed so you will no longer be turning, but you will be moving away from the sidewalk. Now imagine you are walking very slowly with this cart (blue light) and one wheel slips off into the grass. The cart will be pulled at much sharper angle off the grass and away from the sidewalk than if you were running with the cart (red light). Once you reach the sidewalk at the other end of the feild, the first wheel that gets onto the sidewalk will be able to move more quickly, making your cart turn again as you exit the feild. The person who was running (red light) will exit the feild much further down than the person who was walking slowly (blue light).

    This is to say that, the slower the wavelength of light (or color) is moving the greater the bend and vice versa. Since blue light travels much slower than red light, it bends at a much greater angle than the red light. This is why red is on top and blue is at the bottom of a rainbow. This separation of wavelenghts (or colors) into different directions is referred to as dispersion. The end result is the light source being broken into its constituent colors, or its spectrum.

    Product SKU # 00013

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