The present report is devoted to an investigation of rainbows. The procedure involved going outside on a sunny day and spraying some water into the air. During the experiment, I moved to find the sun behind me, at my side, or in front of me. The rainbow effect was only visible with the sun behind me, and the color at the top of the phenomenon was red. I assume that I could deduce the location of the anti-solar point below the horizon: it should have been located near the shadow of my head (ACEPT W3 Group par. 5). All the observed events can be explained by the specifics of light refraction, dispersion, and reflection.
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Water drops can refract and disperse sunlight, forcing its components to change their paths in a way that depends on their wavelength (Ahrens and Henson 576-578). In human perception, light with different lengths has different colors, which defines the colors of rainbows. The position of the sun also matters: when I stand with my back to the sun and use the spray, the water drops reflect the light into my eyes, making the rainbow effect visible to me (Ahrens and Henson 578).
Moreover, the color at the top of the rainbow can be explained by the same phenomena (Avison 33). A rainbow is the result of refraction performed by multiple drops, and every drop contributes a certain color to the effect (Ahrens and Henson 579). This color is defined by the angle of refraction, which can be assessed by considering the anti-solar point (ACEPT W3 Group par. 6-7). Practically, it means that the red color is contributed by the droplets that are located higher than other droplets from the perspective of the eye that receives the light (Avison 33). Thus, the experiment helped me to observe the physics of light refraction, dispersion, and reflection and connect my real-life experiences to some theoretical information about the phenomenon of rainbows.
ACEPT W3 Group. “Rainbows, Part III.” Patterns in Nature, Web.
Ahrens, Donald, and Robert Henson. Meteorology Today. Cengage Learning, 2016.
Avison, John. The World of Physics. Nelson Thornes, 2014.