Q:

How does a prism work?

A:

A prism works by slowing down light proportionally to wavelength as it enters into the prism, which causes the rainbow effect. Light changes speed as it moves from the air to another substance. This causes the light to change course.

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In order to achieve the effect, the light must enter the prism at an angle. The light then bends once it is inside the prism and again when the light leaves the prism. Each wavelength of light gets bent at different angles. This causes each color to fan out and become more distinct.

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Related Questions

• A:

A pentagonal prism has five lateral faces and two pentagonal bases, which equal seven faces. A prism has two congruent polygons that form the top and bottom of the shape. These polygons are referred to as bases. The remaining sides are referred to as lateral faces.

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• A:

The volume of a prism is worked out by first calculating the area of the surface and then multiplying that figure by the length of the prism. This applies whatever the shape a prism takes.

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A rectangular prism has six faces or sides that are quadrilaterals, and they are arranged so that the figures meet at eight corners or vertices. The places where two sides meet are called edges, and rectangular prisms have 12 of them. The individual faces may be square or rectangular.