The Colors of the Rainbow

             A rainbow is one of our atmosphere's most exquisite and marvelous creations; "one of the most spectacular light shows observed on earth" (Ahrens, 1998). When a person views a rainbow, they are getting a personal light show that no other person can see as they do. Humphreys points out that:.

             "Since the rainbow is a special distribution of colors (produced in a particular way) with reference to a definite point - the eye of the observer - and as no single distribution can be the same for two separate points, it follows that two observers do not, and cannot, see the same rainbow." (Humphreys, 1929).

             Of course, a camera lens will record an image of a rainbow which can then be seen my many people (Lynds, 1995). .

             A rainbow is essentially made up of seven brilliant colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet; moreover, it is comprised of many coloration that the eyes cannot see. No painter can manufacture the colors of the rainbow, for they create color by mixing, but no mixing will give red, green, or purple. These are the colors of the rainbow, though between the red and the green an orange color is often seen (Aristotle, 350 BC). To understand how the awesome production of a rainbow occurs is a feat of physics and mathematics. The two most important ingredients are light and drops of water. The manner and position in which the light and water droplets transverse, and the reactions between the two, are complex formulas of nature. Additionally, certain circumstances make it possible for a rainbow to occur.

             You cannot have a rainbow without some source of light. It is possible to create an artificial rainbow utilizing artificial light, but for this paper, I will only use instances and circumstances of naturally occurring light which produce naturally occurring rainbows. The sun is nature's primary source of rainbow creating light; however, occasionally, the light of the moon can produce a rainbow.

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