Prism HD is an inspiring exploration of real light shining through glass prisms and splitting into natural rainbows beneath your fingers. Interact with a variety of beautiful scenes, or create your own. Completely accurate in math and physics, you will be amazed at the feel of life in the light exploding from just a few simple prisms.

* Debuted at the Future Canvas 2 iPad art exhibit in San Francisco.

* Featured on the Atmospheric Optics Picture of the Day:
- "Prism HD is an iPad/iPhone App combining optics, accuracy and beauty.

* As seen on
- "There is a certain beauty in manipulating theoretical light and angles
of refraction and watching what happens"

* Also featured on KRON TV San Francisco

* Used as inspiration by professional artists and architects.


Prism HD uses sophisticated ultra-fast ray-casting to simulate tens of thousands of individual rays of light as they pass through a variety of colored or clear glass prisms. As you move and rotate the prisms and the light-source, the light reacts instantly to your touch, sending showers of beams across the screen. The beams combine and split in a fantastic array of natural rainbow patterns that you will recognize from the real world around you, but have never been able to interact with freely before. The result is an accurate simulation of the natural world with a surprisingly emotional power.


* Simple controls.
* 13 beautiful pre-set scenes.
* Every scene can be easily customized.
* Fully multi-touch.
* Tuned for all devices:
from iPod Touch to iPad 3, including Retina support and iPhone 5.
* Regular prisms: triangles, squares pentagons, etc.
* Star-shaped prisms with any number of points.
* Perfectly circular prisms, which accurately simulate drops of water.
* Each prism's shape and color can be easily changed.
* Simple control of optical properties like Index of Refraction and Dispersion.
* Written in 100% Objective-C, C++, and OpenGL for maximum performance.

* Many natural phenomena are accurately reproduced:
** Refraction, Dispersion, and Partial Transmission
** Snell's Law and Total Internal Reflection
** Caustic Reflections
(Have you ever noticed the curved reflections inside a coffee cup ?)
** Natural Rainbows are easily illustrated using a circular prism
** Accurately shows real-world optics behind atmospheric halos such as Sundogs.


Hundreds of thousands of individual rays of light are simulated each second.

Every ray obeys three simple laws of optics:

1. Refraction:
Light bends as it passes from one medium to another.

2. Dispersion:
Blue light 'refracts' more than red light.

3. Transmission and Reflection:
When light passes from one medium to another,
some of it passes through and some is reflected.

When these simple laws of nature are combined in a powerful computer such as an iPad,
the experience is captivating and beautiful.

What’s New

Version 1.20

in celebration of spring, for the month of April, Prism HD is free, as in free to be you and me!
let your friends, students, teachers, and random strangers in the northern hemisphere know so they can welcome the return of the light on the cheaps.

Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
36 Ratings
36 Ratings
cujoedaman ,

So much awesome!

Picked this up for free, but it is definitely worth the price if you miss it. To start off, I noticed a few people saying they had trouble rotating the objects. I found out you use two fingers to rotate, this method can also be used to spin the objects for moving effects. Lots and lots of particles moving around, but even on my aging iPad 2, I didn't notice any issues with speed. I'm sure this would look awesome on a Retina display or even output to a hi-def tv.

sa. zasto b. (sr) xavier (jr) ,

amazing but a few key features missing

Love this app to death, buy it already. Usability however needs work. You can't save your creations, that's a total bummer. The defaults return each time you reopen the app, your changes lost. 5 stars if that gets solved. (I also found it very hard to rotate objects. better perhaps to have rotation controls in the dialog box.) Still, one of the coolest things ever.

QTgirl1 ,

Days of futures past

It brings me back to my childhood days when we would find a sunny spot to sit and twist a kaleidoscope around and around so as to capture beautiful rainbows of color. Such a warm and happy feeling to be reminded of those carefree days when you let your imagination run wild!!


Orion Elenzil
10.2 MB
Requires iOS 4.3 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
Age Rating
Rated 4+
© orion elenzil 2011-2015


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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