The Light Around Us: Colors, Reflections, and Invisible Energy

Explore light and color using prisms, lenses, and mirrors.

Light is everywhere in our world—it is both obvious and mysterious. But what exactly are the properties of light?

The Light Around Us: Color, Reflections, and Invisible Energy explores both the physics of light and how we see it. Visitors will have the opportunity to experiment with color, shadows, prisms, and the light beyond the rainbow.

Light carries information from the world to our eyes and brains. Seeing colors and shapes is second nature to us, yet light is a perplexing phenomenon when we study it more closely. The seven interactive exhibits that make up The Light Around Us exhibition demonstrate some of the common properties of light, such as absorption, reflection, refraction, and diffraction. Visitors can bend and bounce light rays using lenses and mirrors, block or change the color of everyday objects, separate white light into colors, and create shadows of overlapping color.

The Light Around Us also explores light beyond the visible spectrum, such as ultraviolet light, and how this light energy can affect our health.

We’re excited about how these new exhibits will allow visitors to interact with properties of light that they may know about but have never had a chance to manipulate” commented Exhibits Director Bob Raiselis. “Being able to see a prism breaking white light into a rainbow, bouncing beams of light off both straight and curved mirrors, observing light energy made visible – these are powerful experiences in helping visitors to understand the light that surrounds us.”

The Light Around Us: Color, Reflections, and Invisible Energy exhibition was created by the Montshire Museum with support from the National Institutes of Health.