Break white light into it's components

In summary: I've seen sunlight through a CD, but never thought of using it for artificial light. Thanks for the tip!In summary, the person needs to make a demonstration to show that white light is composed of different colors but does not have a prism. They have tried improvisations with a white LED flash light but are unsure if the light produced by a white LED is different from ordinary white light. Suggestions were given to use the LED spectrum from its datasheet and to use various transparent colored materials or a CD to split the light. The use of a CD was suggested as a cool idea and a possible solution to the demonstration.
  • #1
Alkhimey
19
0
Hi,

I need to make a demonstration that shows that white light is composed of different colors. I do not have a prism, and will not be able to obtain one in time. I have a white LED flash light, and I tried some improvisations with different objects (bottles, glasses etc), but none seems to decompose the white light. This led me into thinking, is light produced by white LED somehow different from the ordinary white light?
Maybe you can think of some other improvisation that demonstrates the effect I need?






Thank you for the help.
 
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  • #2
Alkhimey said:
Hi,

I need to make a demonstration that shows that white light is composed of different colors. I do not have a prism, and will not be able to obtain one in time. I have a white LED flash light, and I tried some improvisations with different objects (bottles, glasses etc), but none seems to decompose the white light. This led me into thinking, is light produced by white LED somehow different from the ordinary white light?
Maybe you can think of some other improvisation that demonstrates the effect I need?

Thank you for the help.

Yes, the light spectrum of a white LED is different from the spectrum of an incandescent bulb. You should be able to find the LED spectrum in its datasheet, and the spectrum of an incandescent bulb from a google (images) search.

Even though you don't have a "prisim", do you have access to any blocks of plastic or glass? Even a square drinking glass can be made to split out the spectral components for you. Or use a slit on top of a pan of water, and shine the light in at an angle...

Or as you suggest, shine the white light through various transparent colored materials, and show that the original light had some of that color in it...
 
  • #3
Most (all?) white LED's are composed of a red, a blue, and a green LED that, when combined, give white light. Remember that LED's work when electrons recombine with holes and give off photons with the same energy as the semiconductor's energy gap. That means all "pure" LEDs give off a single wavelength of light.

If you want to split light, why not use a CD? I've used it to look at LEDs, fluorescent lamps, incandescent bulbs, and even the spectral absorption lines of the Sun. It works quite well.
 
  • #4
ideasrule said:
If you want to split light, why not use a CD? I've used it to look at LEDs, fluorescent lamps, incandescent bulbs, and even the spectral absorption lines of the Sun. It works quite well.

Hah! Very cool idea.
 

Related to Break white light into it's components

What is white light?

White light is a type of visible light that contains all wavelengths of the visible spectrum, which includes colors such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.

Why does white light need to be broken into its components?

White light is a combination of all the colors of the visible spectrum. By breaking it into its components, we can study and understand the individual colors and their properties.

How is white light broken into its components?

White light can be broken into its components using a prism or a diffraction grating. When white light passes through these objects, it bends or diffracts, separating the different wavelengths of light.

What is the result of breaking white light into its components?

The result of breaking white light into its components is called a spectrum. This spectrum shows all the colors of the visible light in order, from longest (red) to shortest (violet) wavelength.

What is the purpose of breaking white light into its components?

The purpose of breaking white light into its components is to understand the properties of each individual color and how they combine to create white light. It also allows us to study the unique characteristics of each color, such as its wavelength and frequency.

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