Simulation Prism

Full Version 1.0 - 2002 Steffen Maus und Daniel Roth - All rights reserved!

Shown is a prism at which a light ray is refracted. By rotating the prism with the mouse e.g. the correlation between primary angle and deflection angle can be analysed. A precise display of mouse position enables the user to calculate e.g. the angle of deflection. Several types of radiation can be chosen:

  • Monochromatic light, where the index of refraction can be adjusted between 1 and 3
  • Line spectra of various elements
  • white light, which is separated into its spectral colors

To illustrate the influence of different dispersion curves the material of the prism can be changed choosing from a given list and the changes in the resulting rays can be observed.

To rotate the prism please drag the mouse up or down with left mouse button pressed.

Parameter changes are shown instantaneous

  • Simple rotation of the prism by mouse drag
  • realistic computing of refraction and total reflection
  • Adjustment of index of refraction possible
  • Various elements with their line spectra can be selected
  • Various materials for the prism can be selected including their different dispersion curves
  • Separation of white light into its spectral colors 
  • This Applet is "scriptable". This means that it can be configured and controled by using JavaScript methods inside the embedding web page. More information about scripting can be found in the file scripting.html.

    The following methods are available:

    make user interface elements visible or invisible:
      • state = "yes": make user interface element visible
        state = "no": make user interface element invisible

        element = "monochromatic": button to choose monochromatic light
        element = "ior": input field for the index of refraction
        element = "lineSpectra": button to select one of the different line spectra
        element = "white": button to choose white light
        element = "glassType": button to select the material of the prism

      selects the given material of the prism. Valid values are:

      • linear: linear dispersion
      • FK3: Schott FK3 glass
      • F3: Schott F3 glass
      • water: water

      Sets the index of refraction to n. Values of n can be set between 1 and 3. This command only affects the simulation if monochromatic light is selected.

      sets the type of radiation to monochromatic light

      sets the type of radiation to the selected line spectrum. Valid values for element selection are:

      • Li: Lithium
      • Na: Natrium
      • K: Kalium
      • Rb: Rubidium
      • Cs: Caesium
      • Hg: Mercury
      • Ne: Neon

      sets the type of radiation to white light (continuous spectrum)