Science with Shields: Episode #77 – CD Rainbow


ALTOONA, Pa. (WTAJ) — In this episode of Science with Shields, Christy Shields shows you how to make a rainbow.

What you need: 

  1. Flashlight
  2. CD
  3. White piece of paper


Put the piece of paper on the table. Next, turn your flashlight on and hold the CD in your other hand. Angle the CD until you see a rainbow appear on the paper!


The CD is made of Aluminum and plastic. The colors on the CD are created from white light reflecting off the ridges in the Aluminum metal.

Like raindrops during a rain shower, the CD separates light into all the colors it is made up of. The colors on the paper look like a rainbow, are considered interference colors.

A rainbow is created from when light from the sun enters a water droplet. This slows down the light and bends it as it goes from the air to the denser water droplet. The light reflects or refracts from the inside of the droplet, separating the white light from the sun into the components of its wavelength, or colors. When light exits the droplet it makes the colorful rainbow!

If you make a rainbow, or happen to see one outside, make sure to share the photos with us!

Check out more Science with Shields episodes on WTAJ Plus.

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