Dispersive prism

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A photo of a dispersive prism taken with a digital camera. Sunlight was used as the light source. Yellow and cyan dominate the middle of the spectrum because the input beam is wide, so individual colors of light overlap near the prism. Violet light is rendered as blue, perhaps due to limitations of the camera.

In optical science, a dispersive prism is an optical prism, often a triangular-shaped one, used as a spectroscopic component. Dispersive prisms are used to disperse light, often splitting light into all of its components, such as white light into all other wavelengths of light. There are a few types of dispersive prisms, which are:

  • a triangular prism
  • Abbe prism
  • Pellin–Broca prism
  • Amici prism
  • and compound prisms.