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Q & A: what light gets through a filter?

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Most recent answer: 02/11/2013
Q:
How does diffracted red, green, blue light look like? I know that once refracted, white light emits the colors red, orange, yellow, green,blue, indigo and violet but i cannot seem to determine the colors it emits once the light is going through a plastic filter (in this case the 3 primary colors) could you please tell me the pattern these three colors produce (ex: ROYGBIV for white)? for this experiment i am using a flash light, color filters and diffraction glasses but the patter does not seem clear. Thank you.
- Arthur (age 14)
Miami, FL, US
A:
We don't know much about your particular filters. Here's how you can figure it out.

Take your white light source and a prism. The light going through the prism will, as you say, be separated into different components with different frequencies, which you can see when it hits a paper or screen. Now insert your filter between the light and the prism. You should see some but not all of the ROYGBIV spectrum left on the screen. That tells you what parts go through the filter.

Mike W.

(published on 02/11/2013)

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