Color is everywhere. Color is in everything one sees, but have you
ever wondered what it is, where it comes from or how we see it? That will
be explained in this report. The human eye can only see an extremely small
section of the electromagnetic spectrum. The very small part that we do see
is called 'visible light.' This light is refracted and corresponds with
different wavelengths in the 'visible light'. In our eyes, we have cells
called cones that are sensitive to different wavelengths. The cones and
wavelengths allow us to see color. There are three different types of
cones in our eyes. Some of the cones in our eyes are effected by red light.
Some of the cones in our eyes are sensitive to green light. Other cones
in our eyes are effected by blue light. Red, green and blue are the
primary colors of visible light, but if these cones are only sensitive to
the wavelengths in the electro-magnetic spectrum of red, green and blue
then how are colors like aqua and purple seen? Different light sources
give out different parts of the visible spectrum. When the light sources
are combined they appear as different colors. Adding primary light sources
in the right proportions, can produce the sensation of other colors in our
eyes, such as aqua and purple. (Challoner,40)
Why do we see the grass as green in color? Why do we not see the
grass as blue or any other color? Actually, when the visible light hits a
pigment only some colors are reflected back to the eye. (Encarta) Which
colors are reflected and absorbed vary with the different pigments in the
object. Grass is green because all the other colors in the visible
spectrum are absorbed, and green is reflected back to our eyes. If blue
was reflected back to our eyes instead of green then the grass would appear
to be blue. The same rule applies with all other colors of the spectrum
and objects that contain pigments. White is seen when all the colors of
the visible spectrum are reflected back to the eye. Black is seen when the
whole visible spectrum is absorbed and no color is reflected back to the
eye. At night, everything seems black or deep blue; however, in the
daytime vivid color is seen again. This is because for any color to be
seen there has to be some type of light, whether it is natural sunlight or
artificial light from electrical sources.
When white is seen all the colors of the visible spectrum combine
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