How we see color
- The color effect-
Daylight (white light) is made up
of numerous waves or impulses each having different
dimensions or wavelengths. When separated, any single
wavelength will produce a specific color impression to
the human eye. What we actually see as color is known as
its color effect. When an object is hit (bombarded) with light rays, the
object absorbs certain waves and reflects others, this
determines the color effect.
For example, what we actually see
when we observe a blue ball is that the ball appears
blue because it reflects only blue light and absorbs all
The ball does not have color in itself. The
light generates the color. What we see as color is the
reflection of specific wavelength of light rays off an
The color white: If all light waves are reflected
from a surface the surface will appear to be white.
The color black: Similarly, when all light waves are absorbed by a
surface the surface will appear to be black.
of light waves is converted into heat when absorbed.
Wearing white or light colored clothing during hot
summer days takes advantage of the quality.
The colored light in the visible
spectrum ranges from red to violet. We can see this
process by passing sunlight (white light) through a
prism. Upon entering the prism, white light refracts (is
bent, causing light waves of different lengths to be
revealed, red having the longest wave length and violet
having the shortest) into the visible spectrum.
Similarly, white light can be
generated when all colored light in the spectrum is
passed through a converging lens.
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