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Newton’s disc – A DIY color disc experiment

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Have you ever wondered what comprises white light? Where does white come from? How do the colors of the rainbow split up? Is there a correlation between white color and other colors of the rainbow?

Isn’t it worth thinking about? Let’s explore the concept of white light and all the different colors in the rainbow. We got you covered, not just with the theory but with an interesting experiment to prove it yourself.

If we know anything about white light and the rainbow, we should thank Isaac Newton for the same. He is the one who showed us the correlation in an experiment using 2 prisms.

A ray of white light, when passed through a prism, is split into 7 colors and when those 7 colors are passed through a prism, we again get a white light.

This can be simplified using Newton’s Disc for us to experiment on our own.

What is Newton’s disc?

Newton’s disc is a circular disc made out of 7 colors: Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red with the equal partition. The disc turns out to white when rotated at speed. With this, Newton has proved that white color is a combination of 7 colors and so it is called Newton’s color disc or disappearing color disc.

Let’s do Newton’s disc experiment with Havi Elements – DIY Robotics starter kit.

Buy Havi Elements – DIY Robotics starter kit
Making of Newton’s disc

Elements required
Power Element
Motor Element

Accessories required
Powerbank with USB cable
Gearless motor

Craft material required
Card paper
Pencil
Rounder
Protractor
Scissor
Colors

The circuit

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How to make the Newton’s disc

Step:1 Prepare the disc

-Draw a circle on a card paper using a rounder. Divide it into 7 similar parts using a protractor.

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-Color the parts with VIBGYOR colors.

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-Cut the disc out using a scissor.

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OR you can download the disc, print & color it as given.

Download Newton’s disc template
Step:2 Place the circuit & prepare a setup

-Connect the gearless motor with the Motor Element.

-As we know, the rotation of the disc should be very fast and so we will use a gearless motor along with the Motor Element from Havi Elements – DIY Robotics starter kit.

– Pierce the disc using a compass into the center of the disc and then insert the shaft of the gearless motor. Just take care that the hole remains tight to the shaft to make the disc rotate at adequate speed.

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-Arrange the disc with the use of blocks if required or you can carefully hold the geared motor using your thumb and fingers. Turn the power ON.

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Why does Newton’s disc appear white when rotated?

Every color represents a particular wavelength. When white light passes through a prism, those wavelengths are segregated and we see a rainbow.

When we put all those wavelengths of different colors that constitute white light on a vibgyor disc and rotate it at a faster speed, what happens? All those wavelengths of these colors start mixing up, blurring the colors that we see with the eye at no rotation, and combining them all to show us white light.

Isn’t it interesting to know? You must be wondering why we even need to know this. How would this be applicable in our regular life?

What are the applications of Newton’s disc?

Developing an understanding of physics is highly important to be aware of the surroundings and natural phenomena. Newton’s Disc is one of the practical ways to experiment with white light and its colors. It makes it easier for the kids to understand the composition of white light and how we can get white light from the colors of the rainbow.

Hope we have answered all your questions that might pop up in your sharp minds regarding Newton’s Disc, white light and Vibgyor. If you still have questions, feel free to share those in the comments section.

Bonus idea

DIY Spinning disc optical illusion

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