Why do diamonds sparkle when white light is directed at them?

Diamonds sparkle when white light is directed at them – the optical phenomenon behind this is Total internal reflection of light rays. Let’s discuss this in details.

Diamonds sparkle when white light is directed at them – why and how?

When white light enters a diamond, it is split into the colours of the spectrum. Diamond has a very high refractive index of 2.417 so it separates the colours more than any other substance does.

In addition, the high refractive index gives diamond a critical angle of 24.4°.
(As, Sin θc = 1/µ where θc is the critical angle and µ is the refractive index)

So a light ray in a diamond may be totally internally reflected many times before it emerges, which means its colours spread out more and more.

So the diamond sparkles with different colours.


Why do diamonds sparkle when white light is directed at them?
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