Make our own Rainbow:

  1. Place a mirror in a glass or water at an angle.
  2. Turn off the lights (pitch dark)
  3. Shine a flashlight toward the mirror
  4. Adjust to make a rainbow appear!  (You may need to adjust the angle of the mirror)


The Science Behind:

 A rainbow is an optical illusion that appears as a band of colors in an arc.  The cause is the refraction of the sun’s light rays by water in the atmosphere – rain.  When the sun shines on the droplets of water in the atmosphere, the colors within the white light are split out and a rainbow is formed.
The colors of the rainbow are ROY G BIV (that’s the way I remember it from school!)  Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Indigo, and Violet in that order.  When light hits the water in the air, the different colors of the light are split out… The same can be done with a prism to see the colors separate.  The light changes speed as it travels through the new medium and it then is caused to bend.  The light is refracted as it enters the water (or prism)  and then refracts again as it leaves again.  The light is reflected in varying angles creating a rainbow.
Different colors of light refract in different amounts – which is why we see different colors in a spectrum.
Prisms are available through Amazon or in Science Sets, but you can always create your own with a mirror, a glass or water and a flashlight!