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Make a Rainbow

What You Need:

• A shallow pan
• Water
• A mirror
• White paper
• A strong light source such as a lamp or a flashlight

Question: How can you create an indoor rainbow?

1) First, fill the pan about 3/4 full with water.

2) Then, place the mirror on its side at the pan’s edge.

3) Place the lamp or flashlight so that the light shines directly into the mirror.

4) Now, position the white paper so that the reflection of the light shines onto it.

5) Move the mirror around until you can see the watery reflection.

6) Look closely at the edge of the reflection. Do you see the colors? You have just created a rainbow in your own home!

A Scientific Explanation:

When light travels in a straight line it is known as white, or clear, light. When light is bent by water it breaks into the colors of the rainbow. A rainbow’s colors always appear in the same order: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet.



Try this experiment outdoors on a sunny day. How does the rainbow appear outdoors as compared to indoors?