Prismatic pieces of transparent materials are much used in optical instruments. In spectroscopes and devices for producing monochromatic light, prisms are used to produce dispersion effects, just as Newton first used a triangular prism to reveal that sunlight could be split up to give a spectrum of colors. In binoculars and single-lens reflex cameras reflecting prisms (employing total internal reflection) are used in preference to ordinary mirrors. The Nicol prism is used to produce polarized light.
Related categories SOLIDS AND SURFACES
OPTIC AND OPTICAL PHENOMENA
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