AAPT.org - American Association of Physics Teachers

2009 High School Physics Photo Contest

Winner's Showcase

 

C-871_normal.jpg

Zoom Zoom

Honorable Mention - Contrived

Title: Purify the Colors
Student: Stephanie Fitzpatrick
School: Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, Indianapolis, Indiana
Teacher: Aaron Ellis

In this contrived picture a candle was lit, and its light was reflected off of a compact disc. This picture was taken in a dark room so that no other light source would interfere with the outcome of the visual effect. When a flame from a candle was shone on the compact disc, it created a rainbow-like spectrum. The candle produced a predominantly yellow light, and when it reflected off of the CD it created a color spectrum. This color spectrum is caused by the lines on the CD that separated the yellow light into each color, which is composed of mainly red and green. This stunning visual is produced by reflexive diffraction of the yellow light on the CD. The diffraction pattern is formed when the simple light source caused the colors to fall into order of frequency. The lowest frequency (red) begins on the outer edges of the disc, then the rest of the colors of the spectrum fall in line of the rainbow-like pattern towards the center of the CD.

Back Photo Contest Home Next