Light is actually made up of a spectrum of colours each with a different frequency. One way to see the spectrum of colours is to use a prism to split the light.

What is a prism?

A prism is a triangular block of glass or perspex which splits light into its constituent colours.

When light enters a prism it is refracted. Each colour of the spectrum is refracted by a different amount meaning the colours are dispersed ( spread out ) allowing you to see them.

A prism is a great way to demonstrate visually that white light is actually made up of 7 different colours.

How to split white light with a prism

How to split white light with a prism.  Easy instructions for how to make a rainbow with a prism.
Prism Splitting light into the colours of the rainbow

What you need to split light

Triangular prism

White cardboard

Large sheet of white paper

Dark coloured cardboard

Tape or glue

Large tray or sheet of thick card

How to use a prism

On a sunny day this is a great way to split light with a prism.

Use the dark card to create a slit over a sheet of white card. Place the card so sunlight shines through giving a thin beam of light.

Place the prism over the light and rotate it until you can see the light split into the spectrum of colours.

How to split light with a triangular prism
Instructions for using a prism to split light

Why does a prism split light?

White light, which enters the prism, is a mixture of different frequencies, which get bent ( refracted ) differently thought the prism, allowing them to be seen separately.

Make a rainbow with a prism following these easy instructions #scienceoflight #scienceforkids #coolscienceforkids
How to split light with a prism

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Originally posted at Science Sparks