Dispersion Abbe Number

The refractive index measurement at different wavelengths also referred to as dispersion, helps to characterize transparent optical materials. Abbe numbers are also important to classify transparent optical materials.

The refractive index depends on the wavelength of the light. This wavelength dependency is also referred to as dispersion. Dispersion can, for example, be used to spread white light into its color components with a prism. The different colors are just light waves with different wavelengths, which together make white light. Due to dispersion, there are different refractive indices and thus different refraction angles in the prism, spreading the white light into a rainbow. 

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