Thu February 03, 2011 By: Shrini Sugandha

why do we find out minimum deviation of prism?

Expert Reply
Thu February 03, 2011
Dear student,

The angle of minimum deviation is responsible for some meteorological phemomena, like halos and sundogs, produced by deviation of sunlight in the hexagonal prisms of ice crystals in the air. Reflection from raindrops -- another exercise in ray-tracing -- shows a minimum deviation angle: that's the rainbow! In all cases you can imagine as a first approximation that the light is deviated through just one special angle, the angle of minimum deviation.

The minimum deviation D in a prism occurs when the entering angle and the exiting angle are the same, a particularly symmetrical configuration.
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