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Thread: question about colors and light

  1. #1 question about colors and light 
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    Im trying to understand how the electromagnetic radiation works but am a little confused...

    for example if the color of the grass is green is it considered light radiation like every objects that has a color or is it completely different?


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    Forum Professor pyoko's Avatar
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    The substances in the grass are such that they reflect a lot of light in the green spectrum, while absorbing a lot of other visible spectrum colours. The light scatters from each point and in the end hits your eye as "green".


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    It helps to visualize light as a wave. What color you perceive it to be depends on how much it vibrates. The least energetic light that we can see looks red while the most energetic looks blue/violet. We perceive color from the light itself, not from the objects it reflects off of.

    It's alright to say the grass is green, but don't think that in the dark it is still green. When sunlight, being a mixture of several color wavelengths, hits the grass, wavelengths except those in the green spectrum are absorbed. The green light is reflected off the surface and enters your eye. The brain then "translates" this information into the color we perceive.

    This raises another interesting question: is color real or is it just subjectively perceived?
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    so in complete darkness everything "loses" its color so to say?
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    It is clearly subjective. There are many fascinating optical illusions that prove that.

    See some here:


    Optical Illusions and Visual Phenomena
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    Quote Originally Posted by revv View Post
    so in complete darkness everything "loses" its color so to say?
    Interestingly, yes. There have been experiments showing how certain colored objects become colorless when shown in different spectra of light. For example, strawberries.

    If we were to shine only green light on a strawberry, as in only the wavelengths we specifically perceive to be green, then the leafy top of the strawberry would appear green while the rest of the strawberry would appear black and colorless.

    If we were to shine only red light, then this time we'd see the body of the strawberry red while the leafy green top is black and colorless!

    Guess what happens when we shine strictly blue light on the strawberry? Now the whole thing appears to be black and colorless!

    So when we try to imagine everything being black and colorless in the absence of light, it should come as no surprise. The objects are not reflecting, refracting, nor absorbing any light, well because... there is no light in the first place!
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