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Rainbow In A Box

Here’s a really cool experiment for all ages.  This one helps you to determine whether a rainbow is formed by rain or by the sun.  It uses incredibly simple supplies as well.



SUPPLIES:



Scissors
Shoebox
White paper
Clear drinking glass
Water



DIRECTIONS:



1. In the center of one of the narrow sides of the shoebox, cut a half inch slit that is just wide enough to let light through.
2. Trim the white paper to fit inside the bottom of the shoebox.  Affix the paper to the inside bottom of the shoebox.
3. Place the box in a window in the morning.  Be sure the sun can enter the box through the slit.
4. Fill the glass with water (note:  water must be clear, not cloudy).  Place the water-filled glass in the box up against the slotted opening.  Make that sure that the slit is still facing the sun.  What do you see on the paper?



What happens?  You see a rainbow on the white paper after you put the water-filled glass against the slotted opening.



Why?  Light travels in waves.  The light waves enter the box and when they hit the water they bend.  When light bends it means that the lightwaves spread out and group together according to their wavelengths.  Different wavelengths make different colors.  This is the same way a natural rainbow is made.

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