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Glass Prism Other Science

A glass prism can be an excellent educational device for school classes and parents with science-minded children. A prism is a geometrical shape that has parallel ends and parallelogram sides. In the study of optics, glass prisms demonstrate the separation of white light into all the colours of the visual spectrum. Triangular glass prisms with refractive surfaces and acute angled corners are the most popular choice when dispersing white light.

Science in Action

If you are struggling to motivate a science class or want to instill interest in your children, a glass prism science set is an excellent way to showcase the wonders of science. You can take advantage of the angle and material properties of a glass prism to refract, or split, white light into many different colours. This experiment is easy to carry out and requires minimal equipment and time.

Simple Scientific Explanation

Unlike many other scientific experiments, the explanation of the science behind white light dispersion in a prism is relatively simple. You can use a glass prism to convey foundational optical phenomena without resorting to complicated scientific language or pages of mathematics. When white light from the sun or an intense lamp passes through a glass prism, the light refracts through glass. As light waves move at different speeds in air and glass, the change in velocity causes the light to bend as it moves through the prism. When the light waves pass out the other side, the new wavelengths of the light wave is split into the components of the visual spectrum.

Alternate Use

Once you have used your glass prism as a scientific instrument, that doesn’t mean you have to throw it away to let it collect dust in the garage. A properly placed glass prism can be an eye-catching addition to your home’s interior decoration. If your glass prism is set up near a well-lit window, you can enjoy watching miniature rainbows all day long.


Take advantage of scientific accessories to improve the refractive effect of white light through a prism. For instance, you can use an optical stand to elevate your glass prism to an angle with more exposure to white light. You can further expand the functions of your glass prism by using it in experiments with magnetic levitation devices, gyroscopes or Newton’s Cradle.

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