The rainbow

Asked by  | 25th Feb, 2010, 09:30: PM

Expert Answer:

Dear student,

The bow is divided into bands displaying the different colors of the spectrum and is formed by the refraction and reflection of the sun's rays in drops of rain. Reflection is simply the return of light waves from the raindrop's surface. Light which appears to be white, is really made up of a mixture of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet light.

When a shaft of sunlight enters a drop of water, a part of it does not pass directly through but is reflected from the inner surface and emerges from the side from which it entered. Moreover, it is refracted both on entering and leaving the water drop. This process, repeated in the same manner for an immense number of drops, produces the primary rainbow, which appears in front of the observer, who has his back to the sun. It has the red band on the outer edge which are long light waves and the blue-to-violet on the inner edge which are short light waves.

Hope this helps.

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Answered by  | 25th Feb, 2010, 10:13: PM

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