The Science behind Rainbows

The Science behind Rainbows

You may have seen people putting pictures of rainbows in their windows, to cheer up anyone passing during these difficult times. Rainbows usually appear after or during heavy rain, whilst the sun is shining, and are seen as symbol of hope and peace.

But how do they appear?

The saying goes with the sun on your back look into the rain…. The rainbow is formed as the light is refracted through the raindrops, forming the spectrum of colours.

White light is made up of various colours of light, all with different wavelengths, and as they hit the droplet of water they slow down by different amounts, causing them to change direction at different angles.

You can create this phenomenon at home, using a light source (torch) and a prism (glass block).

Why not try this at home?

You will need:

Alternatively try our rainbow goggles to explore the relationship between light and colour. The glasses are perfect for home use but please do not look directly at the sun through the goggles.