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Hi!Could you tell me why prisms in a periscope shouldn`t be put at the corner?

Hello Mike,

A submarine's periscope needs to bend the light 90 degrees. That could perhaps be done with prisms (probably requiring a series of them), but would be much more complex that to use a mirror. And the image would be distorted by the phenomenon of different colors being refracted a different amount.

I hope this helps,


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Steve Johnson


I would be delighted to help with questions up through the first year of college Physics. Particularly Electricity, Electronics and Newtonian Mechanics (motion, acceleration etc.). I decline questions on relativity and Atomic Physics. I also could discuss the Space Shuttle and space flight in general.


I have a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering. I am retired now. My professional career was in Electrical Engineering with considerable time spent working with accelerometers, gyroscopes and flight dynamics (Physics related topics) while working on the Space Shuttle. I gave formal classroom lessons to technical co-workers periodically over a several year period.

BS Physics, North Dakota State University
MS Electrical Engineering, North Dakota State University

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