ALOM SHAHA is a passionate physics teacher. When he’s not teaching, he is very busy writing, film-making, and working as a science communicator.
With the release of his new picture book for children, How to Find a Rainbow, Good Reading for Kids asked Alom about his memory of rainbows and just how we can find the end of one.
Yes! Like most children, I loved seeing rainbows whenever they appeared. A rainbow is one of those things in nature that makes most children shout “come and see this!” and I was no different.
They’re special because they’re not an everyday phenomena and even though I must have seen hundreds of them by now, I still get a thrill whenever I see one.
Before people knew why a rainbow showed in the sky, what did they think it was?
Myths and stories from around the world feature rainbows where they represent a bridge between our world and others, or a bow for gods to shoot arrows of lightning, and a sign of a god’s promise not to flood the world again.
Why does a rainbow have different colours?
White light from the Sun is actually a mixture of colours known as the spectrum – Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. A rainbow is formed when white light from the Sun hits raindrops in the sky.
As white light passes through a raindrop, it bends and bounces in a way that makes it split up into its different colours. The coloured light that bounces out of the raindrop is what we see as a rainbow.
Can you ever find the beginning or end of a rainbow from where you are on the ground?
Rainbows don’t actually have a beginning or an end because they are circles! Most people don’t know this because the Earth gets in the way of our view of the whole rainbow. If you ever see a rainbow from up above, for example from in a plane, you should be able to see that it is a circle.
You teach physics. Can you tell us what physics is and why you like it so much?
Put simply, physics is the study of the world around us. In particular, it is the study of matter (stuff), forces, and energy so that we can understand how everything around us, from atoms to galaxies, moves and behaves through space and time.
I love Physics because I had a really good Physics teacher when I was at school who made me see what a wonderful and powerful way it is to make sense of the world.
Age Guide 3+