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Prism splitting light


In optics, a prism is a transparent material, such as Glass or Quartz, used to refract or relect light into a rainbow spectrum of its constituent colors. When white light enters a prism, the change in refractive index from air to the denser medium results in the light being refracted or bent. Each frequency of light is bent slightly differently resulting in the separation of the colors. Newton is credited with the use of prisms to separate colors.

Synonyms and Related Terms

optical prism; reflective prism; optisk prisme (Dan.); Prisma (Deut.); Prisma, óptica (Esp.); prisme (Fr.); prisma, optica (Ned.); pryzmat (Pol.)

Resources and Citations

  • ASTM, Standard Terminology of Microscopy, Annual Book of ASTM Standards, Section 14, General Methods and Instrumentation, ASTM, E175, 75-78, May 1982
  • Walter C. McCrone, John Gustave Delly, The Particle Atlas, W. McCrone Associates, Chicago, IV, 1972
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996