Conceptual Physics (12th Edition)

Published by Addison-Wesley
ISBN 10: 0321909100
ISBN 13: 978-0-32190-910-7

Chapter 28 - Think and Discuss: 104

Answer

Each observer sees a rainbow that reflects from a different set of rain droplets.

Work Step by Step

A rainbow is not a physical, tangible object. As described on page 530, the rainbow you see is from droplets that lie within a 3-D cone, with your eye at the tip. If you slide your eye over to coincide with that of a nearby observer, the imaginary cone moves with you. The light from the new rainbow is coming from a different set of droplets. It is in this sense that two observers standing apart do not see the "same" rainbow.
Update this answer!

You can help us out by revising, improving and updating this answer.

Update this answer

After you claim an answer you’ll have 24 hours to send in a draft. An editor will review the submission and either publish your submission or provide feedback.