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Answered 2008-11-13 18:34:04

Sunlight coming from the sun is known as white light - it doesn't necessarily look white but maybe a better name would be "neutral". White light is actually made up of many different colors of light mixed together, just like you would mix paint colors together to obtain a new color. Each color within white light has it's own wavelength. Blue has a shorter wavelength than, say, red. All the colors of the rainbow all lined up represent a slightly different wavelength- like lining up all the children in a school according to their height - tall at one end, short at the other. As white light passes through things like glass, the ray of light is bent when it passes from air into the glass, and again when it passes from the glass back into the air on the other side. These are called medium boundaries - boundaries between one medium (say air) and another (say glass, or water). Each different color is bent a different amount according to how long or short its wavelength is. So as the light passes through the medium boundaries, they filter each color into a slightly different path, spreading them out to display on a wall or on your eye as a rainbow.

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