Which is refracted most by a prism : red light or violet light? Explain why?


Violet light is refracted the most by a prism because it has a short wavelength and minimum speed in a glass prism due to which it undergoes the maximum deviation and hence appears at the bottom of the spectrum. 

On the other hand, red light has a longer wavelength and maximum speed. Thus, it is the least deviated light and forms the upper part of the spectrum.

Explanation

The phenomenon of splitting white light into its components colours (violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange and red) while passing through a prism is known as the Dispersion of light. In the spectrum, red is seen at the top as it has the longest wavelength whereas violet is seen at the bottom of the spectrum as it has the shortest wavelength.

The cause of the dispersion of light through the prism is because white light is a mixture of seven different colours and they get refracted (bend) at different angles in the prism medium due to differences in their speed and wavelengths. So they get separated.


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Updated on: 10-Oct-2022

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