Introduction: The Sun is the beginning source of rainbows. Because of the light of the Sun and the properties of refraction, reflection, and absorption we have rainbows.
Using thinking and observation skills this experiment will help the student learn what a rainbow is, the colors of a rainbow, how to make a rainbow, and what causes a rainbow.
As the light strikes a solid object, it is absorbed or reflected. When it strikes a transparent object, such as a pan of water, the light rays are bent or refracted. The different colors are bent at different angles, and when the light emerges, the colors will break apart into a rainbow.
As the sunlight hits the water in the pie plate it is slowed down. This causes the colors to separate. When the light is reflected back from the mirror back through the water and into the air the colors are separated further. This is why you see the colors so clearly.
This is how a rainbow is formed. Sunlight appears white to us, but it is really made up of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. All these colors together are called the colors of the spectrum.
©Copyright 1998 Elizabeth
Beckett, Holly Bernitt, and Vishwa Chandra.