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prism

prism / ˈprizəm/ • n. Geom. a solid geometric figure whose two end faces are similar, equal, and parallel rectilinear figures, and whose sides are parallelograms. ∎  Optics a glass or other transparent object in this form, esp. one that is triangular with refracting surfaces at an acute angle with each other and that separates white light into a spectrum of colors. ∎  used figuratively with reference to the clarification or distortion afforded by a particular viewpoint: they were forced to imagine the disaster through the prism of television. ORIGIN: late 16th cent.: via late Latin from Greek prisma ‘thing sawn,’ from prizein ‘to saw.’

prism

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prism

prism, in optics, a piece of translucent glass or crystal used to form a spectrum of light separated according to colors. Its cross section is usually triangular. The light becomes separated because different wavelengths or frequencies are refracted (bent) by different amounts as they enter the prism obliquely and again as they leave it (see refraction). The shorter wavelengths, toward the blue or violet end of the spectrum, are refracted by the greatest amount; the longer wavelengths, toward the red end, are refracted the least. The Nicol prism is a special type of prism made of calcite; it is used for polarization of light.

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prism

prism In mathematics, a solid geometrical figure whose ends are congruent (most commonly triangles) and perpendicular to the length, with the other faces rectangles. The volume of a prism is equal to the area of the end multiplied by the length of the prism. In physics, a prism is a piece of transparent material, such as glass, plastic or quartz, in which a light beam is refracted (bent) and split into its component colours (spectrum).

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prism

prism (geom.) solid figure of which the two ends are similar, equal, and parallel rectilinear figures and the sides parallelograms XVI; (optics) transparent body of this form XVII. — medL. prisma — Gr. prîsma, -mat- lit. thing sawn, f. prī́zein (vb.) saw.
So prismatic XVIII. — F.

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prism

prism A crystal form composed of a number of repeat crystal faces all of which are parallel to one of the principal crystallo-graphic axes (usually the vertical c (or z) axis). See also ACCRETIONARY PRISM.

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prism

prismchasm, spasm •enthusiasm • orgasm • sarcasm •ectoplasm • cytoplasm • iconoclasm •cataplasm • pleonasm • phantasm •besom • dirigisme •abysm, arrivisme, chrism, chrisom, ism, prism, schism •Shiism, theism •Maoism, Taoism •egoism • truism • Babism • cubism •sadism • nudism • Sufism • ageism •holism • cataclysm • monism • papism •verism • aneurysm • purism • Nazism •sexism • racism • paroxysm • autism •macrocosm • microcosm • bosom

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