William Herschel’s ‘infrared’ prism

Made:
1795-1805 in London
maker:
Unknown
Glass prism, mounted at the end of brass tube, used by Sir William Herschel in experiments on the thermal radiation in 1876-951: Glass prism, mounted at the end of brass tube, used by Sir William Herschel in experiments on the thermal Glass prism, mounted at the end of brass tube, used by Sir William Herschel in experiments on the thermal radiation in

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Glass prism, mounted at the end of brass tube, used by Sir William Herschel in experiments on the thermal radiation in
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

1876-951: Glass prism, mounted at the end of brass tube, used by Sir William Herschel in experiments on the thermal
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Glass prism, mounted at the end of brass tube, used by Sir William Herschel in experiments on the thermal radiation in
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum, London

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Glass prism with lugs, mounted at end of brass tube with threaded flange, unsigned, London, England, 1795-1805. Used by Sir William Herschel in experiments on thermal radiation in the solar spectrum. (See note)

Glass prism, mounted at end of brass tube, used by Sir William Herschel in experiments on thermal radiation in the solar spectrum. This may be the prism used by William Herschel when he accidentally discovered invisible radiation in 1800. Using the prism, he split sunlight into its different colours and measured their temperatures. He noticed that the temperature was highest beyond the red light, in a region now known as infrared.

Details

Category:
Optics
Object Number:
1876-951
Materials:
brass (copper, zinc alloy), copper (alloy) and glass
type:
prism -optical demonstration
taxonomy:
  • furnishing and equipment
  • tools & equipment
  • optical demonstration equipment
credit:
The Herschel Family Archive