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Thread: prism light-box head-scratcher

  1. #1 prism light-box head-scratcher 
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    Mar 2014
    greetings physics folks!

    first post here, talking about a prism light box to produce a full spectrum of vivid color with a 12v power supply. think about a prism in a shoe box, with one part partitioned with a slit to control the light entering the prism, and the light exiting the prism projected on the opposite side of the shoe box.

    as a science experiment, how would you build such a box which could produce a strong visible spectrum on a white surface when viewed with the top of the shoe-box off in a normally lit room?

    most resources say that sunlight is the best for a prism, followed by candle and incandescent light. none of these produce enough lumens (and are impractical at that) to accomplish the previously defined task.

    all thoughts are welcome! i think first about high-powered projector bulbs...



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  3. #2  
    Forum Freshman WaterWalker's Avatar
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    Jan 2013
    KZN, South Africa
    Welcome to the forum. I would have gone for an arrangement of 3, 5 or 7 ultra bright white LED's focused through a convex lens. That should make it bright enough even over a small distance. Maybe that's a bit more practical? Also, the LED's will work better with the 12V power supply, as I'm not too sure about the power rating of a projector lamp.

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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard
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    Dec 2013
    Maybe a strong led flashlight would do it.

    You might be able to find a strong led desk lamp that might work. Quite a few of them were designe to work off a 12 volt power supply.
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  5. #4  
    Brassica oleracea Strange's Avatar
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    Oct 2011
    Don't some white LEDs work by combing red, green and blue LEDs? In which case you would get just three bright stripes instead of a spectrum! But if they are the "fluorescent" variety, it should work.

    Alternatively, a halogen lamp. Bright and available in 12V versions. But they do get very hot. You don't want to turn it into a demonstration of the fire alarms.
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