White light refracted by a glass edge or a prism might be split into the colors of the rainbow but, when restricted by a suitable arrangement of edges, might also yield a sequence of colors complementary to the rainbow. We studied the creation of these color fields experimentally with a setup consisting of RGB light-emitting diodes that cover all color combinations of the three primary colors red, green, and blue. These light fields were projected through a prism onto a screen or a camera to generate various color fields by refraction. Applying the rules of additive color mixing, a simple RGB model based on the slit spectrum of the light convincingly reproduces the observed color patterns. The parallel use of model and experiment enables a clear recognition of unusual spectra from particularly combined light fields and yields an explanation of their origin.
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PAPERS| December 01 2021
Newton’s Green and Goethe’s Purple – Color Experiments with LEDs
Phys. Teach. 59, 712–718 (2021)
C. Hanisch, M. Ziese, W. Oehme; Newton’s Green and Goethe’s Purple – Color Experiments with LEDs. Phys. Teach. 1 December 2021; 59 (9): 712–718. https://doi.org/10.1119/10.0007410
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