Newton colour wheel experiment with Fizzics Education

# Newton colour wheel

### You will need:

Coloured pens, or a coloured printer.

Paper

One nail

Pencil

Cardboard

Glue

Wooden skewer or nail

1

Cut out a round piece of paper and divide the wheel into eight equal sized segments.

2

Colour in the segments in the order of the colours of the rainbow;

Red | Orange | Yellow | Green | Blue | Indigo | Violet

*It’s ok if you can’t get the ‘perfect’ colours for indigo & violet, just use purple.

3

Glue the picture on some cardboard and allow to dry.

4

Piece the middle of the disc with a nail or wooden skewer.

5

Whilst watching the coloured wheel, spin the kebab stick between fingers… what colour do you see? Why?

6
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### Why Does This Happen?

White light is comprised of all the colours of the visible spectrum.
i.e. red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet… as well as the shades in between.

Spinning the disc mixed all the different wavelengths of coloured light together, creating white light. The faster you move the disc, the more white light you see. This process is call colour addition.

Colour subtraction occurs when substances that absorb light, such as paint, are mixed together. Mixing coloured paint eventually produces black paint, whereby all visible light is absorbed.

## 2 thoughts on “Newton colour wheel”

1. How to measure how far a light goes for students

1. Ben Newsome says:

Hi Sarah!

This is a tricky one, as light travels across our Universe. However, light does reduce in intensity due to the inverse-square law, whereby the light intensity is inversely proportional to the square of the distance from the source (i.e. it reduces very quickly!). Perhaps try using a light meter using your phone (or from an electronics store)… you could place this at the end of different length tubes from a light source and you could measure this effect. Good luck!

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