Light & Color

Glass Bead Rainbow

Each bead in the glass case acts as both a prism and a mirror, reflecting light and separating it into a spectrum of rainbow colors. When a light is shined on the case, white light enters each bead, reflects off the bead and leaves again. White light is made up of many different colors of light. A glass bead bends each of these colors at a different angle, dispersing the white light into its component colors. As a result every bead produces its own tiny spectrum or rainbow. However, the eyes can see only one of the colors produced by a single bead. The rest of the colors from the bead are bent so far that they never enter the eyes.