Rainbow Glasses Experiment: Creating Homemade Rainbow Glasses to Explore Light Diffraction

In this experiment, you’ll create your own “rainbow glasses” using a CD and a few simple materials. These glasses will allow you to observe the phenomenon of light diffraction, which results in the beautiful rainbow patterns that appear when light passes through a CD’s surface. This hands-on activity is not only fun but also provides insights into the behavior of light.

Rainbow Glasses

Materials Needed for this Science Experiment:

  1. Old or unwanted CD or DVD
  2. Scissors
  3. Cardstock or construction paper
  4. Clear tape or glue
  5. Hole punch
  6. String or ribbon
  7. Protective cover for the workspace


1. Prepare the Workspace: Choose a clean and well-lit area for your experiment. Protect the workspace with a cover to catch any paper scraps.

2. Cut Out the Glasses Frames: Cut out two identical shapes for the glasses frames from the cardstock or construction paper. These shapes can resemble the frames of eyeglasses or sunglasses.

3. Attach the Frames: Attach the frames together at the top using clear tape or glue. Make sure they form a sturdy pair of glasses that you can comfortably hold up to your eyes.

4. Prepare the CD Lens: Take the unwanted CD or DVD and use scissors to carefully remove the clear plastic layer. This will serve as the lens for your rainbow glasses.

5. Attach the Lens: Using a hole punch, create a hole at the top of the plastic CD lens. Attach the CD lens to the glasses frames by threading a string or ribbon through the hole and tying it securely.

6. Put on Your Rainbow Glasses: Wear your homemade rainbow glasses by holding the frames to your eyes. The CD lens should be positioned in front of your eyes, allowing you to look through it.

7. Observe Light Diffraction: Hold the glasses up to a light source, such as sunlight or a lamp. Look through the CD lens and observe the beautiful rainbow patterns that appear around the light source. These patterns are a result of light diffraction, where the CD’s surface causes the light to split into its component colors.

8. Experiment with Light Sources: Try observing different light sources through your rainbow glasses. You can compare the patterns created by sunlight, artificial light, and even colored light sources.

9. Discuss the Phenomenon: After observing the rainbow patterns, discuss the concept of light diffraction with children. Explain how the CD’s surface acts like a diffraction grating, separating light into its various colors.

10. Share the Fun: Encourage others to try on the rainbow glasses and observe the captivating light patterns for themselves.

11. Reflect on Nature: Discuss how light diffraction occurs naturally in rainbows and other optical phenomena, helping children connect the experiment to real-world occurrences.

Creating homemade rainbow glasses allows children to directly observe the behavior of light and learn about the principles of diffraction in a playful and engaging way. This experiment can spark curiosity about optics and inspire further exploration of light-related phenomena.

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