What is a spectrum displayed on the wall using a pocket mirror and water?
Ok, so I'm doing an experiment for the class and found the results but do not know how to explain. I put a small pan of water on the sill of a window containing the bright sunlight. Using a pocket mirror, inclined him towards the window and a spectrum (basically a rainbow) is shown in the wall. So how does this work exactly? The light does what? so that the colors of the rainbow on the wall. I'm sure that has to do with refraction, but I'm at a loss to explain. Thanks for any help.
Yes, it has to do with refraction. Speed of light changes as it passes from one medium to another (from air to water). This change makes the speed of light is refracted and enter in the new environment at a different angle. The refractive index of many materials (like water) varies with wavelength (ie color) of light used, a phenomenon called dispersion. This causes light of different colors is refracted differently and leave the water at different angles, creating an effect similar a rainbow. This can be used to separate a beam of white light into its constituent colors spectrum.