Lecture on Supernumerary Arcs

Supernumerary arcs are faint arcs of color just inside the primary rainbow. They occur when the drops are of uniform size. If two light rays in a raindrop are scattered in the same direction but have take different paths within the drop, then they could interfere with each other constructively or destructively. The type of interference that occurs depends on the difference in distance traveled by the rays. If that difference is nearly zero or a multiple of the wavelength, it is constructive, and that color is reinforced.