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Rainbow optics, historical artwork

Rainbow optics, historical artwork

V501/0008

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Credit

SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Formation of a rainbow, coloured historical artwork. The diagram shows the paths of two beams of light from the Sun (top left corner). These are refracted and reflected within two raindrops (at the top of the rainbow). It is shown that red light is reflected back at an angle of 42 degrees to the incident ray, while violet light is reflected back at an angle of 40 degrees. The violet component of the light reflected from the top raindrop is shown passing over the observer's head (lower left). Instead, violet is seen from the raindrop (and thus the region of sky) below the one from which red is seen. This illustration was published in The Atmosphere by Camille Flammarion, in 1873.

Release details

Model release not required. Property release not required.

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