Notebook, 1993-


Optical Prisms

Optical prisms are transparent solids of glass or other material whose opposite faces are plane but not necessarily parallel. They are used to bend light rays by refraction or internal reflection. The amount of bending depends on the refractive index of the prism, the angle between its faces, and the angle of incidence of the light. Since the refractive index depends also on the wavelength, prisms are often used to disperse a light beam into its spectrum. [p. 60]

[Light and Color, by Clarence Rainwater, Prof. of Physics, San Francisco State College, Original Project Editor Herbert S. Zim, Golden Press, NY, Western Publishing Company, Inc., 1971.



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