William Herschel’s ‘infrared’ prism

Made:
1795-1805 in London
maker:
Unknown

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

Creative Commons LicenseThis image is released under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 Licence

Buy this image as a print 

License this image for commercial use at Science and Society Picture Library

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

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.

Related people

Details

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

Cite this page

Rights

We encourage the use and reuse of our collection data.


Data in the title, made, maker and details fields are released under Creative Commons Zero


Descriptions and all other text content are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence

Using our data

Download

Download catalogue entry as json

Download manifest IIIF

Our records are constantly being enhanced and improved, but please note that we cannot guarantee the accuracy of any information shown on this website.