What happens when a beam
of white light strikes a prism?
The components of white light get refracted by different
angles and follow different paths within the prism. The
phenomenon due to which white light splits into component
colors is called dispersion..
Violet has the maximum speed and red has the minimum in
glass. Hence, the violet bends the most and red the least.
Each color leaves the prism after refraction through different
How can we get a spectrum with the white light and the
The band of colors obtained on the screen when white light
strikes the prism and splits into component colors of spectrum.
Can the component colors be recombined to white light?
By placing an inverted prism in path of the dispersed beam,
white light can be obtained.
What happens when a ray strikes one of the surface of
The incident ray strikes one surface of the prism and enters
from a rarer medium (air) to a denser medium (glass), hence
bends towards the normal.
It is observed that after undergoing refraction through
the prism the emergent ray gets deviated from the original
path of the incident ray.
The angle between incident ray and the emergent ray is called
angle of deviation.
On what factors the angle of deviation depends?
The angle of deviation produced by a prism depends upon
i) angle of incidence, ii) refractive index of material
of prism, iii) color or wavelength of incident light, and
iv) angle of prism .
If you are still unclear about the concepts, please refer
the animation below.
Besides the above points the animation file also contains
- Description of prism
- Detailed animation and description of ray that enters
and leaves the prism
- Why does light break into its component colors ?
- Totally Reflecting prisms
- Erecting prisms or zero deviation prisms