I have a hard time understanding why light waves of different wavelengths diffract in a different manner. According to Huygens' principle, every point on the wavefront is a source of a secondary wave. So if we have a white light going through, say, a single slit (light rays parallel to each other and perpendicular to slit's plane), all what's supposed to happen is a plain diffraction, just like of any other wave. That is, the wave will progress spherically, but it will still be a white light. Why instead we get a splitting of different wavelengths? In other words, how does light color affect diffraction geometrically?
Diffraction effects depend on the wavelength of the light. Considering a single narrow slit with monochromatic light, light with wavelengths much larger than the slit will not be transmitted and light with wavelengths much shorter than the slit will be transmitted without significant diffraction effects, but light with wavelengths comparable to the slit will show significant diffraction effects.
The reason that diffraction effects are able to split white light into its different colors is because white light is composed of an incoherent combination of many different wavelengths of light. The different wavelengths get diffracted by different amounts, and the effect you see is that the white light gets split into its spectrum of colors. Additionally, since the light is incoherent, you don't see dark and bright spots like you would with monochromatic light.
How do we understand from Huygen's principle that light with wavelengths much shorter than the slit do not diffract very much? This is because points near the middle of the slit and points near the edges of the slit, which are both emitting spherical waves will interfere destructively except for in the direction straight ahead.
I do not think Huyghens principle can be applied to white light, only to simple harmonic waves. Waves of light with different color have different wavelength, which will affect the radius of sphere drawn in the Huyghens construction. Around obstacles, waves with different wavelengths will move differently.