The principle of light diffraction dates back to the experiments of Sir Isaac Newton, who observed that when a light source passed through a prism, it would split into its spectrum of seven distinct colors. The term diffraction itself was coined by Francesco Maria Grimaldi, an Italian scientist and contemporary of Newton’s, who also studied the behavior of light. Theirs is the same colorful spectrum that we still see today in everything from rainbows in the sky to light bouncing off of the back of a DVD!
Today, diffraction glasses, also known as fireworks glasses, are a popular way to experience the spectacular properties of light and color. Whether you want to enhance your enjoyment of a music festival, seeking a unique party favor to hand out to your guests, or simply seeking a way to deepen your understanding of light, diffraction glasses are a fun and affordable option.
But you may be wondering, how do diffraction glasses work? Read on to learn a little bit about the science behind our diffraction glasses!
Let’s get technical for a moment and define the term diffraction as it applies to light and physics. Diffraction is the process by which a beam of light is spread out after passing through a narrow opening or across a grating. While diffraction glasses specifically relate to the diffraction of light, diffraction could also apply to water waves, radio waves, or sound waves. Have you ever observed the ripples of water in a pond move around a stationary rock? Those waves are being diffracted. Cool, right?
How Diffraction Glasses Work
Diffraction glasses, like those we design at Rainbow Symphony, work on this ancient principle of physics. First, we produce a high-quality, holographic lens that contains thousands of tiny lines. The surface of these lenses serves as our “grating” upon which the light will diffract.
But the real secret to how diffraction glasses work? Light, of course! When you wear the glasses and direct them towards a light source––this could be the light show of a concert or the lamps in your living room––the beam of light strikes the holographic surface of the lens (our “grating”) and breaks up into its spectrum. What you see on the other side (behind the lens) is the dazzling array of sparkling colors, shapes, lines, and dots. As you move your head, the light dances across the surfaces of the lens for a truly spectacular experience!
You can experiment with different colored lights while wearing your diffraction glasses. A common white light source breaks up into a standard rainbow spectrum of colors (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet). However, if you look at a red light source, you will see the red components of the light spectrum!
Experience Diffraction Glasses for Yourself
Now that you know a bit more about how diffraction glasses work and the amazing, yet simple, science behind them, it’s time to get yourself a pair! At Rainbow Symphony, we offer a wide selection of high-quality but affordable diffraction glasses, including plastic diffraction glasses, our LaserSpex™ Plastic Rainbow Fireworks Glasses® designed specifically for light shows, a variety of paper diffraction glasses perfect for any occasion, and so much more!
Plus, we offer customized diffraction glasses so you can add your brand, logo, or other personalized touches for your next event! Simply contact our support team at 1-800-821-5122 or send us a message via our online contact form to learn more.