Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Analogy of Colour and Music—Supernumerary Rainbows

Abstract

IN what I saw of a recent discussion in your paper as to the analogy between the colours of light and musical notes, I did not observe any reference made to an analogy on this subject, published, I believe, in 1845, by Prof. Mossotti, of Pisa. The analogy is pointed out at the end of a paper concerning the diffraction spectrum. This spectrum, the disposition of the colours in which depends solely on the wave-lengths, has its point of maximum brightness in the middle, which in this spectrum is occupied by a shade of colour rather nearer to the line E than D. Fig. 1 represents the positions of the lines in the diffraction spectrum; and fig. 2 represents the spectrum formed by refraction through a certain flint glass prism which belonged to Fraunhoffer. The ordinate of the curve which is drawn above each spectrum represents the intensity of the light at each place of that spectrum. The curve drawn above fig. 2 is that due to Fraunhoffer's actual observations with the prism above referred to. The intensity of the light in the neighbourhood of the principal lines is given by him by the following numbers:—

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

STUART, J. Analogy of Colour and Music—Supernumerary Rainbows. Nature 1, 406 (1870). https://doi.org/10.1038/001406a0

Download citation

Comments

By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.

Search

Quick links