Prism (optics)

Drawing of a prism bending light
The glowing, colored strips are a rainbow.

A prism is a special piece of glass, crystal, or plastic that bends light. The light bends (or refracts) because it moves slower in the glass, crystal or plastic than it does in air. If different colors of light move at different speeds, each color bends a different amount. This is dispersion and it splits the light into a band of different colors called a spectrum. This spectrum has the same colors as a rainbow does, because rainbows are made the same way, by bending light. They happen when light is bent by tiny drops of water floating in the air. If the light does not come out when you shine it into the prism, it is called internal reflection.

  • uses

Uses

Prisms are used in binoculars to reflect the light. This lets the tubes of the binoculars be short. Some cameras use a prism to send light to the viewfinder, so the photographer can see what will be photographed.


Other Languages
asturianu: Prisma (óptica)
башҡортса: Призма (оптика)
български: Призма (оптика)
bosanski: Prizma (optika)
brezhoneg: Kengereg
català: Prisma òptic
čeština: Optický hranol
Ελληνικά: Πρίσμα (οπτική)
English: Prism
Esperanto: Prismo (optiko)
euskara: Prisma optiko
فارسی: منشور
français: Prisme (optique)
贛語: 三稜鏡
한국어: 프리즘
हिन्दी: प्रिज़्म
hrvatski: Prizma (optika)
Bahasa Indonesia: Prisma (optik)
íslenska: Glerstrendingur
ಕನ್ನಡ: ಅಶ್ರಕ
latviešu: Prizma (optika)
lietuvių: Prizmė
magyar: Prizma
മലയാളം: പ്രിസം
Malti: Priżma
मराठी: लोलक
Nederlands: Prisma (optica)
日本語: プリズム
norsk nynorsk: Optisk prisme
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ: ਰੰਗਾਵਲ
Patois: Prizim
Piemontèis: Prisma (òtica)
polski: Pryzmat
português: Prisma (óptica)
Scots: Prism
slovenčina: Optický hranol
slovenščina: Optična prizma
српски / srpski: Призма (оптика)
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Prizma (optika)
Basa Sunda: Prisma (optik)
தமிழ்: பட்டகம்
татарча/tatarça: Призма (оптика)
తెలుగు: పట్టకం
Türkçe: Prizma (optik)
українська: Призма (оптика)
Tiếng Việt: Lăng kính
粵語: 三稜鏡
中文: 稜鏡