A prism is used to refract a beam of light and separate it out into the separate colours from the spectrum as the leave the prism from different angles, simply put, its effect is similar to that of a rainbow. In optics, prisms are used to deviate a beam of light by a specified angle. The range of optical prisms available include Equilateral prisms, or dispersing prisms which have a simple triangular cross-section and can be used over a range of wavelengths, Amici roof prisms that rotate a beam by 90 degrees whilst at the same time diverting the beam, Fresnel prisms which either rotate a beam by a specified angle or act as beamsplitters and Deviating Penta prisms that redirect a light beam to another angle relative to the original beam. Prisms are used in a variety of applications including Thermal imaging, telescopic eyepieces, endoscopes, profile projectors, cameras with movable mirrors, design, metrological and as image rotators in fields such as interferometry and astronomy.

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