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Circles of Light: The Mathematics of Rainbows

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Visit this site: http://www.geom.uiuc.edu/education/calc-init/rainbow/

Author:Frederick J. Wicklin, Paul Edelman; The Geometry Center
Description: How are rainbows formed? Why do they only occur when the sun is behind the observer? If the sun is low on the horizon, at what angle in the sky should we expect to see a rainbow? This lab helps to answer these and other questions by examining a mathematical model of light passing through a water droplet. Based on work by Steven Janke.

Levels: College
Languages: English
Resource Types: Graphics, Lesson Plans and Activities
Math Topics: Calculus (Single Variable), Euclidean Plane Geometry, Physics

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