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Prism Stand with Abbe Prism


This is a prism stand with a glass prism seated on it. The prism is a non-isosceles right-angle triangle (likely an Abbe prism) and is badly chipped. The prism can be rotated both about its axis and about the stand. The part of the stand that holds the prism arm can be revolved in a vertical plane around the hinge that connects it to the stand. The stand is extendable.

Accession Number:

Alternative Name:

Primary Materials: Metal: Copper Alloy, Glass

Markings: Stamped into the stand base: “79”

Dimensions (cm): Height = 39, Diameter = 11


This appears to be an Abbe prism, which is a dispersive prism that can be used to split light into its constituent parts (e.g. in spectroscopy). It was likely used for refraction of light demonstrations and optical experiments in an undergraduate teaching context.


Good: The stand is in good condition, although the surface is worn in places, particularly around the base. Across most of the base, the surface has dulled or corroded to an mottled orange colour. The prism is badly chipped, particularly across the top surface, although there is also a small chip in the narrowest angle apex of the prism.

Associated Instruments:


Date of Manufacture: Late 19th century

Provenance: Department of Physics

Additional Information and References:

Historical Notes: