Make a rainbowRainbows are one of the wonders of the natural world: But why do you sometimes see one rainbow, and other times a double? Why do you always see rainbows with your back to the sun? How do they really work? Operate your own rainbow, then find out!
Primary Secondary Rain Curtain Single Drop Multi-dropOPERATING INSTRUCTIONS: CHOOSE YOUR ‘BOW:
- Primary checkbox enables the primary bow and its light rays.
- Secondary checkbox enables the secondary bow and its light rays. Notice this bow is seen from different places on the ground; some observers can see a primary, but not a secondary, or vice versa. Lucky people can see both rainbows.
- To see both ‘bows (but no light rays), uncheck both rainbow boxes in Rain Curtain Mode.
- Rain Curtain mode shows two parallel light rays (beams) from the sun refracting off a raindrop at the both the top and bottom of the rain curtain. Outgoing beams show where the rainbow is visible.
- Multi-drop mode mode shows three parallel light rays refracting off three raindrops at different altitudes. The color you see depends on the angle of refraction.
- Single-drop mode mode shows the path inside a single drop. Change from primary to secondary to see how the light takes a different path for each rainbow. A secondary rainbow is reflected twice, so it’s dimmer.
Note that primary or secondary bows may be used with each mode.DRAG YOUR OBJECTS:
- Drag the sun around (across the top and up/down the right side) to change the angle of the parallel light rays from the sun and simulate a time-of-day.
- Drag the person back and forth to see the effect of observer distance from the rain.
- When in “multi-drop mode” drag the refracting drops up and down.