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Thread: Does color exist with no light?

  1. #1 Does color exist with no light? 
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    Hello,
    I am new to this bored, I was reading through some posts and you people seemed to be very knowledgable in this field. I have been debating with my brother and several other people for quite some time now on this question; If there is no light in a room does the color still exist? I appoligize if this question has been asked before, I did a quick skim and was not able to find it. Also, if this is in the wrong section, I am sorry, I really don't know where to post this. To elaborate on the question at hand; My brother believe that since color is produced through a light spectrum that color doesnt exist if there is no light, I believe that the color is still there, we are just not able to see it. Any light you can shed (no pun intended) would be greatly appreciated.
    -Jared


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    Forum Ph.D. Nevyn's Avatar
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    quite simply no, there is no such thing as colour really, all it is is the absorption of certain frequencies of light wheras others get reflected. so without any light there can be no reflection to our eyes and therefore no colour


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    "there can be no reflection to our eyes and therefore no colour" I understand that, but the question I have is does the light still exist and we are just unable to see it? For instance, If my room is green and the lights are off and its completly dark, is my room still green and I am just unable to see it?
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    Quote Originally Posted by frindim
    "there can be no reflection to our eyes and therefore no colour" I understand that, but the question I have is does the light still exist and we are just unable to see it? For instance, If my room is green and the lights are off and its completly dark, is my room still green and I am just unable to see it?
    It depends on your definition of 'still green' if you are saying does it still have the same reflective properties then yes, if you are saying is it still relecting green frequency light then no
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    Thank you for your quick reply, I guess it comes down to what my brother and I feel constitutes as a color, "still" being a color. I feel that a color is still there and still carries the same properties, it just cannot be seen because of the lack of light. He feels that the light is the only thing that matter. Since we are unable to come to an agreement on the definition of what constitutes a color still being a color, this arugment will have to be a draw. Thank you again for your time, anything else you would like to add would be excellent, if not, have a great day.
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    This is the first definition of color from dictionary.com:

    the quality of an object or substance with respect to light reflected by the object, usually determined visually by measurement of hue, saturation, and brightness of the reflected light; saturation or chroma; hue.

    I think color is the key in that. Without light there is no color. If you're in your green room without light and you look around what do you see? Black. Not green. Without light there is no color.
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    Hmm I wonder if I could take this tin of pink paint back and say it's black!


    Yes colour is dependent upon there being light, and the light must have the right spectral content. The 'colour' of paint changes as the light does.
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  9. #8 Re: Does color exist with no light? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by frindim
    Hello,
    I am new to this bored, I was reading through some posts and you people seemed to be very knowledgable in this field. I have been debating with my brother and several other people for quite some time now on this question; If there is no light in a room does the color still exist? I appoligize if this question has been asked before, I did a quick skim and was not able to find it. Also, if this is in the wrong section, I am sorry, I really don't know where to post this. To elaborate on the question at hand; My brother believe that since color is produced through a light spectrum that color doesnt exist if there is no light, I believe that the color is still there, we are just not able to see it. Any light you can shed (no pun intended) would be greatly appreciated.
    -Jared
    No light = no colour

    However, the chemical properties still remain in the substance(s) to absorb and reflect certain wave-lengths of light.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  10. #9 Re: Does color exist with no light? 
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    Quote Originally Posted by frindim
    Hello,
    I am new to this bored, I was reading through some posts and you people seemed to be very knowledgable in this field. I have been debating with my brother and several other people for quite some time now on this question; If there is no light in a room does the color still exist? I appoligize if this question has been asked before, I did a quick skim and was not able to find it. Also, if this is in the wrong section, I am sorry, I really don't know where to post this. To elaborate on the question at hand; My brother believe that since color is produced through a light spectrum that color doesnt exist if there is no light, I believe that the color is still there, we are just not able to see it. Any light you can shed (no pun intended) would be greatly appreciated.
    -Jared
    Well it won't lit untill and unless it is self-luminous such as radium.
    A substance emits colour when a luminous source's light is reflected by it and reacheas us.
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    Thanks everyone for your insight. So, for arugument sake, lets say I bought someone a dozen roses and they put them in their room and turned off the lights, with the room being completly absent of light. Is that rose still a red rose even though the lights are off because of the chemical make up of that rose, or at that moment are those roses then black?

    Also in response to "I think color is the key in that. Without light there is no color. If you're in your green room without light and you look around what do you see? Black. Not green. Without light there is no color" The way that I see it, and I could be completly wrong, is that the color is just not visible at that moment and doesnt mean that it isnt there, just that because of the lack of light, we are unable to see it. Is there any merit to that?
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    The only place color exists is in a mind, in this case your mind.

    There is always light in a room even if you can't see it.

    Light isnt color. It is like sound (for your question). When you turn off the lights you simply are just turning down the volume (intensity) too low for your eyes to hear (see).

    But if you were an owl, or some kind of animal with good 'night' vision, it would probably still see light.

    Color is in your mind, it can not exist anywhere else, not even in another persons mind, it is part of your consciousness, and yours alone.
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    a colour is how it is percepted. The human eye got 3 base colours, red green and blue
    a birds eye got 4, red, green, blue and UV so they see more colours than we do
    I am zelos. Destroyer of planets, exterminator of life, conquerer of worlds. I have come to rule this uiniverse. And there is nothing u pathetic biengs can do to stop me

    On the eighth day Zelos said: 'Let there be darkness,' and the light was never again seen.

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    frindim, if you place a red rose in a room, is it really red? Why do you see it red? Because when LIGHT hits the rose it ABSORBS all other frequencies of the spectrum. So really it isn't red, it is all colors other than red. We only see the color that the rose IS NOT. So the rose is not red, it's blue and yellow and green etc. But, we say the rose is red, when really that is just an idea we have in our mind. As i said earlier, color only comes into the situation when light hits the rose, therefore, there is no color without light.
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    Yes, there is no colour without light but black is stil a colour and that is what we see when we see no light. Someone, in the past may have just named this colour in an attempt to label all colours in existence.
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    Black is the absence of reflected light, so black in a way would not be considered a color. In a totally dark room do we see the color black, or the absence of color? What about white? White is the reflection of all visible wavelengths of light, all colors, so is white a color? Guess it depends on your own definition of color, and really makes no difference what we call it. Getting a little picky here.
    "Where are you going?" "I go where it is changeless." "How can you go where it is changeless?" "My going is no change."
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    I think the answer to this entirely depends on your definition of "color."

    From a scientific properties standpoint, the answer is no, because the object does not actually have a color property. The color we see is merely a byproduct of the reflection of a specific band of the color spectrum. The object "appears to shine red when under suitable light," for instance.

    If you take this from the perspective of observation, the answer is still no, because in order to observe an object's color, you must be able to see it in the visible spectrum. No light, no visual observation.

    Of course, observation assumes that you are using light containing the bands of visible color you expect to see. For example, a red object only appears red if you shine light on it that spans the red band. If you didn't, the object would appear black. However, it is possible for a dominant color to be present, such that in the absence of one color, another may become visible because it is able to stand out in the lack of "competition."

    From a purely trait-based perspective, the answer is yes, because even though there may be no light on the object at the time, we know that certain objects have color properties. Roses are red, paper is white, etc. We know that a rose in the dark is still red, so in that essence it does still have color.
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    Is there any situations where there is "no light?"
    I mean, in a dark room there is still light, just we aren't able to perceive it, whereas another animal may. I would say, then, that in a dark room a red object is still red, though we cannot perceive it as such.

    If by some chance we get a situation where there is "no light", then technically the object doesn't retain a color. As some have pointed out, it may just retain the properties that enable it to absorb some colours and reflect others, but it's still not a specific color, as colour is dependent on light.

    Still, there can be arguments that colour is something we perceive and thus if we cannot perceive an object (in a dark room or a room with "no light"), the object has no color. "Colour" is really not a physical property of matter, in this respect: what really is a physical property is which light it absorbs and which light it reflects, as some persons may perceive a blue object as green (trust me, there was this one lady I knew).

    To respond to some of your comments on Black and White, neither of them is a color, as a color is characterized by the absorption AND reflection of light. Black absorbs, but doesn't reflect. White reflects, but doesn't absorb.
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Nice to see this topic get revived.

    [quote="scientstphilosophertheist"]as some persons may perceive a blue object as green (trust me, there was this one lady I knew).
    [quote]

    are you refering to color blindness? A lot of people have it. Something to do with rods or cones, not sure which.

    Color is just a different frequency of the visible light spectrum. Since it is part of a light spectrum, there is no color without light.
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    Technically the only true "black" objects are "black bodies," which theoretically absorb light from the entire light spectrum.
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    Quote Originally Posted by shawngoldw
    Quote Originally Posted by scientstphilosophertheist
    as some persons may perceive a blue object as green (trust me, there was this one lady I knew).
    are you refering to color blindness? A lot of people have it. Something to do with rods or cones, not sure which.
    Yea...that's the word (concept)!
    Whence comes this logic: no evidence = false?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf
    I think the answer to this entirely depends on your definition of "color."
    I basically agree with Wolf on this one, his first sentence sums it up. If you define "color" as an intrinsic property of the material, then yes it exists without light because the object's properties do not change.
    If you define it based on perception, then no it would not exist in the absense of light.
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    Color may not be color. Color was, to assume a 'temporary definition for this thread",
    a perception by your eyes. The color of light and the color of the paint which still was,
    or was not on the wall as the light was off the same perception labeled green.

    It's no heat, no odor, what still have we got, ah, no sound. No it's some green
    perception. The actual perception in both cases was green you will agree, plus or
    minus some nuance. Interestingly, the walls paint was put to the wall and was still
    green, whereas lights green was normally moving with light speed and appearing as
    being green, though.
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    Well to that extent, light doesn't even HAVE colors. It's purely a series of wavelengths which our brains color as a way of differentiating between them. Sorta like saying that something is green only if reflects 510nm wavelengths and those wavelengths are being perceived by a human brain (assuming said brain is not colorblind at the 510nm mark).
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    I do love your avatar. I know someone around here whose nick was "Wolf". Everyone calls him by
    his nick. Nazi Wolf! You know compared to what I have gone true I guess Hitler was a philanthropists.
    Human like really.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Miller
    I do love your avatar. I know someone around here whose nick was "Wolf". Everyone calls him by
    his nick. Nazi Wolf! You know compared to what I have gone true I guess Hitler was a philanthropists.
    Human like really.
    So what're you saying? I'm Hitler? :wink:
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  27. #26  
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    It's a definition not a saying, I think.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Miller
    It's a definition not a saying, I think.
    So...by definition I'm Hitler?
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    Wolf is right. Colour isn't really an objective property, that's just the language we use. It's what's called a qualia. Things reflect or emit light, and that light has a wavelgnth, not a colour. The colour is only in your head.

    http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/qualia/
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    Hey, the famous new strategy. That a bit like I said. Color of paint might be some other
    object than the color of light. The sense of both is green. 'Sense' might be better than
    'perception'.

    I think this slow down is allowed due to the fact we're first getting to how we notice the
    perception. The functioning of our brains I mean. Might be just an excuse, but thinking
    at this moment on how far science has come in medicine and physics was interesting
    having been done.

    The question was odd I think.Why should the color (paint ) be gone when the light goes
    off? Its surely there again when the room was lit again, isn't it?
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  31. #30  
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    The color of an object, at least in the popular use of language, strongly depends on the quality of lighting. The color of the same cloud may change from white to grey to blue to red or almost any color depending on the setting of the sun. As the sun goes down, we say: "The color of the cloud is changing".

    How can color, in any sense of language, be a fixed quality of an object if it depends on lighting as much as on the physical properties of the object itself?

    The temperature of an object, which does not only depend on physical properties such as heat conductivity, but mostly on the influence on the environment is not a fixed quality of the object. Although the object has a certain way to react to the environment, the actual temperature will change depending on the conditions. It would be nonsense to argue that the drink you keep in your fridge remains at its intrinsic temperature even when you turn the fridge off.

    In analogy, although each object has a tendency to reflect some wavelengths more intensely than others, the actual color depends on ambient conditions, and is not a fixed quality of the object.

    To give you a counter example: Mass is an "intrinsic" physical property that does not depend on external conditions, at least in classical physics. Not so "weight" which depends on gravity.
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  32. #31  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Miller
    The question was odd I think.Why should the color (paint ) be gone when the light goes
    off? Its surely there again when the room was lit again, isn't it?
    Bell Labs Proves Existence of Dark Suckers

    For years it has been believed that electric bulbs emitted light. However,
    recent information from Bell Labs has proven otherwise. Electric bulbs
    don't emit light, they suck dark. Thus they now call these bulbs dark
    suckers. The dark sucker theory, according to a Bell Labs spokesperson,
    proves the existence of dark, that dark has mass heavier than that of
    light, and that dark is faster than light.

    The basis of the dark sucker theory is that electric bulbs suck dark. Take
    for example, the dark suckers in the room where you are. There is less dark right next to them than there is elsewhere. The larger the dark sucker, the greater its capacity to suck dark. Dark suckers in a parking lot have a much greater capacity than the ones in this room. As with all things, dark suckers don't last forever. Once they are full of dark, they can no longer suck. This is proven by the black spot on a full dark sucker. A candle is a primitive dark sucker. A new candle has a white wick. You will notice that after the first use, the wick turns black, representing all the dark which has been sucked into it. If you hold a pencil next to the wick of an operating candle, the tip will turn black because it got in the path of the
    dark flowing into the candle.

    Unfortunately, these primitive dark suckers have a very limited range.
    There are also portable dark suckers. The bulbs in these can't handle all
    of the dark by themselves, and must be aided by a dark storage unit. When the dark storage unit is full, it must be either emptied or replaced before the portable dark sucker can operate again.

    Dark has mass. When dark goes into a dark sucker, friction from this mass generates heat. Thus it is not wise to touch an operating dark sucker. Candles present a special problem, as the dark must travel in the solid wick instead of through glass. This generates a great amount of heat. Thus it can be very dangerous to touch an operating candle. Dark is also heavier than light. If you swim deeper and deeper, you notice it gets slowly darker and darker. This is because the heavier dark sinks to the bottom of the lake and the lighter light floats to the top. The immense power of dark can be utilized to mans advantage. We can collect the dark that has settled to the bottom of lakes and push it through turbines, which generate electricity and help push it to the ocean where it may be safely stored. Prior to turbines, it was much more difficult to get dark from the rivers and lakes to the ocean. The Indians recognized this problem, and tried to solve it. When on a river in a canoe traveling in the same direction as the flow of the dark, they paddled slowly, so as not to stop the flow of dark, but when they traveled against the flow of dark, they paddled quickly so as to help push the dark along its way.

    Finally, we must prove that dark is faster than light. If you were to stand
    in an illuminated room in front of a closed, dark closet, then slowly open
    the closet door, you would see the light slowly enter the closet, but since
    the dark is so fast, you would not be able to see the dark leave the
    closet.

    In conclusion, dark suckers make all our lives much
    easier. So the next time you look at an electric bulb remember that it is
    indeed a dark sucker.

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  33. #32  
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    Quote Originally Posted by M
    How can color, in any sense of language, be a fixed quality of an object if it depends on lighting as much as on the physical properties of the object itself?
    I like this one. When the sun rises and changes its color sun was not as the green
    color of the paint on the wall and a green appearing wavelength of light.

    Sun was in a gaseous state and only appears of being a fixed object. Its not the
    color of the wall which was sensed as being green. Lights color depends on its
    wavelength. What does the color on the wall depends on?

    Hence, sun will not be the a fixed object like the wall having got a color applied. It
    was both the wall and it' color.

    Btw., I think sun itself will not change its color as it rises. The change of color
    appears to be with the rising sun, which also not rises in physical terms, literally.

    So its again a question of the perception.

    Therefore sun is in an gaseous state, was sun an object? Its like gas(es )
    accidentally assembled as a celestial body labeled sun.

    The moving wavelength of light appears to be green. The fixed color of the wall as
    well. Sun rise changes suns color obviously, which was not true. Question has
    sun itself got a color? If yes which? Was color, where colors added or removed
    on its way to our sights?

    I will go one step further. Do we, ourselves, with the help of our brains, do add
    some (distinguished ) color(s ) to what we see, temperatures etc.to be able to
    differentiate between several, in specifics being different impressions?
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  34. #33  
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    Sorry, Steve, but I couldn't follow your post at all. I'm sure you have something good to say, but the English isn't too clear. No offense intended.

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    It's probably pretty much nonsense. I ask if human beings could add some information to what they see referred to as color their selves.
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