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Light going through glass to make a rainbow

  1. Apr 4, 2005 #1
    Someone in a physics class here proposed, a white light beam going through a meter worth of glass and because different frequences refract at different angles, a 1 cm rainbow would come out the other end. The only way I see this to be possible is for the beam to be infinetely thin. I mean REALLY THIN.

    (He even says a 1mm beam would be thin enough to product a rainbow affect)

    I think, however, even a beam of one micrometer the light would overlay back into white light because the vast number of points where the light strikes the glass.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 4, 2005 #2
    No one know? :(
  4. Apr 4, 2005 #3

    Claude Bile

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    Science Advisor

    The width of the rainbow would depend on the chromatic dispersion of the glass more than anything.

  5. Apr 4, 2005 #4
    What is this chromatic dispersion?
  6. Apr 4, 2005 #5

    Dr Transport

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    Gold Member

    Chromatic dispersion is where the index of refraction of the material depends on the wave length of the light, i.e. it is not a constant. Most materials index of refration depends on wavelength, so you will see a rainbow effect.
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