# Circles of Light:

## The Mathematics of Rainbows

How are rainbows formed? Why do they only occur when the sun is behind
the observer? If the sun is low on the horizon, at what angle in the sky
should we expect to see a rainbow?
This lab helps to answer these and other questions by examining a mathematical
model of light passing through a water droplet.

## Outline

**Next:** Objectives
of the Lab

This lab is based on a module developed by Steven Janke and published
in *Modules in Undergraduate Mathematics and its Applications*, 1992.
Support for the Curriculum Initiative Project at the University
of Minnesota has been provided by a grant from the National
Science Foundation (DUE 9456095) and by the Geometry
Center.

Frederick J. Wicklin <fjw@geom.umn.edu>
Paul Edelman <edelman@math.umn.edu>

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Last modified: Tue Mar 11 15:00:22 1997