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Exploring Light and Prisms.doc

Exploring Light and Prisms.doc - Inquiry Activity Exploring...

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Inquiry Activity Exploring Light and Prisms Purpose: The students will be able to … Identify that white light is made up of a mixture of many different colors of light. Explain that a prism can be used to separate white light into many different colors of light Explain how a colored filter works. Standard Addressed: (Indiana State Standards) 6.3.21 Investigate, using a prism for example, that light is made up of a mixture of many different colors of light, even though the light is perceived as almost white. Required Materials: Silly Putty Glass Equilateral Prisms Colored Filters (Green, Blue, and Red) White Computer Paper Light Sources (**clear light bulbs**) Scotch Tape Black Poster Board Bubble wands / Wire frame shapes Distilled Water Joy (dish soap) Glycerin Introduction: Science facts are often contrary to our perceived experience of the world. If you think back to your childhood coloring memories you might remember that the coloring paper remained white only if you didn’t color on it, and when you combined many colors you got a very dark almost black color. This childhood experience may give rise to the misconception that the absence of all colors is white and black is the combination of all colors, but in fact the opposite is true. White light is the presence of all colors and black is the absence of all colors . Through involvement with this activity students should come to the understanding that white light is made up of a mixture of many different colors, and black is the absence of any color light. In the activity a prism is used to show that white light can be separated into its individual component colors. Also in the activity students discover that colored filters block some colors of light and allow others to pass through. If a red filters is placed in the path of a beam of white light, the beam will now appear red because the red filter only allows the red part of the white light to pass through. This idea will become more apparent through the completion of the following activity.
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