Rainbow formation is as a result of the combination of which of the following phenomena?

Rainbow formation is as a result of the combination of which of the following phenomena?
(i) Reflection
(ii) Dispersion
(iii) Total internal reflection
(iv) Refraction
A. (ii) and (iv) only
B. (i), (iii) and (iv) only
C. (ii), (iii) and (iv) only
D. (i), (ii) and (iv) only

Correct Option: Answer is D
The correct answer is D. (i), (ii) and (iv) only.
Here’s why:
• (i) Reflection: While reflection plays a role in bouncing light off the back of water droplets, it’s not directly involved in separating the colors.
• (ii) Dispersion: This is the key phenomenon responsible for splitting sunlight into its constituent colors (a spectrum) as it passes through the water droplet. Different wavelengths (colors) bend at slightly different angles, causing them to separate.
• (iii) Total internal reflection: This occurs when light hits a boundary at an angle greater than the critical angle and gets completely reflected back inside. While water droplets may cause some internal reflections, it’s not essential for creating a rainbow.
• (iv) Refraction: This is crucial for bending the dispersed light within the water droplet, further separating the colors and directing them towards the observer’s eye.
Therefore, only dispersion, refraction, and to a lesser extent, reflection, are essential for rainbow formation. Total internal reflection, while present in some cases, is not a critical requirement.

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