By L. Tarasov
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Extra info for Discussions on refractions of light (Science for everyone)
The beam of light admitted through the slit A passes through the two crossed prisms. A spectrum, R'V', appears on the screen but is displaced with respect t o the outline of R V along the xaxis. The violet end of the band is displaced more than the red end is, so the spectrum band turns out bent towards the vertical. Newton concluded that if the experiment with the single prism indicated that rays of light with different refrangibilities correspond t o different colours, the experiment with crossed prisms proves that the reverse is also true, viz.
20) = = sin B1 $. 20 cos PI. 13) which gives sin P1 = (sin al)ln, we have Consider the following problem. Find the angle between the two inrages shown i n a wedge-shaped glass plate w i t h sin (fil+20)=- sin a +20 l/ I sin2al ~ . 13), we get sin a, = sin a l + 2 0 T/ n2- sin2al. 15) The angle cp to be found is known to be very small, that is why we can assume that cp = sin cp = sin (a, - a,) and, consequently, cp = sin a, cos a, - sin a, cos a,. 17) Bearing in mind that the angle 0 is very small, we find step by step Fig.
The disappearance of the multicoloured band as the screen is moved further away from the prism happens due to the mixture of colours which results in the appearance of white light. A similar explanation applies i n modern optics to the appearance of the multicoloured fringe along the outline of an object observed through a prism in polychromatic light. Summing up, the results of his experiments Newton wrote i n "Lectures on Optics" to the effect that sunlight consists of the rays of every colour, not only when i t emerges from the prism, but also before i t reaches i t , before any kind of refraction takes place.