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Encyclopedia > Amici prism

An Amici prism, named for the astronomer Giovanni Amici, is a type of compound dispersive prism which is used as a spectrometer. Giovanni Battista Amici (March 25, 1786 - 1863) was an Italian astronomer and microscopist. ... In optics, dispersion is a phenomenon that causes the separation of a wave into spectral components with different frequencies, due to a dependence of the waves speed on its frequency. ... If a shaft of light entering a prism is sufficiently small such that the coloured edges meet, a spectrum results In optics, a prism is a device used to refract light, reflect it or break it up (to disperse it) into its constituent spectral colours (colours of the rainbow). ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


The Amici prism consists of two triangular prisms in contact, with the first typically being made from a medium-dispersion crown glass, and the second a higher-dispersion flint glass. Light entering the first prism is refracted, refracted again at the interface between the two prisms, then exits the second prism at near-normal incidence. The prism angles and materials are chosen such that one wavelength (colour) of light, the centre wavelength, exits the prism parallel to (but offset from) the entrance beam. Other wavelengths are deflected at angles dependent about the dispersion of the materials. Looking at a light source through the prism thus shows the optical spectrum of the source. In geometry, the triangular prism is the first in an infinite set of Prisms formed by square sides and two regular polygon caps. ... Crown glass is either of two kinds of glass. ... Flint glass is an optical glass that has relatively high refractive index and low Abbe number. ... The soda straw appears to be broken, due to refraction of light rays as they emerge into the air. ... The wavelength is the distance between repeating units of a wave pattern. ... Color is an important part of the visual arts. ... The optical spectrum (light or visible spectrum) is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum that is visible to the human eye. ...


Often, the prism is joined back-to-back with a reflected copy of itself. This three prism arrangement, known as a double Amici prism, increases the angular dispersion of the assembly, and has the useful property that the centre wavelength is refracted back into the direct line of the entrance beam. The prism assembly is thus a direct-vision prism, and is commonly used as such in hand-held spectroscopes. A spectroscope is a device which measures the spectrum of light. ...


The dispersive Amici prism should not be confused with the non-dispersive Amici roof prism. An Amici roof prism, named for its inventor, the Italian astronomer Giovanni Amici, is a type of reflecting prism used to deviate a beam of light by 90° whilst simultaneously inverting the image. ...


 
 

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