|MadSci Network: Earth Sciences|
I used some known equations to calculate the angles to see rainbows. The first rainbow's angle is found using D(a)=pi+2a-4B, where D(a) is the full angle rotation of the refraction and reflection the sun's white light. The variable 'a' is the incident angle for light entering the rain drop, and 'B' is the refracted angle. The angle to see the rainbow can be found by differentiating this function to find the minimum deviation of the angle 'a.' My question is "Why must we solve for the minimum angle of deviation?" Why can't we see the light at any angle? Why does it matter what the total deviation of the light is? If so, why don't we see, not multiple rainbows, but a wall of color bands? What is the limitation behind seeing rainbows?
Re: Why can rainbows only be seen at specific angles?
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