Our Eyes Percieve Different Wavelengths as Different Colors


Humans see light in a number of ways. Each way depends on light and wavelengths.

A rainbow is a spectrum of light that shows up as many different colors. As many people know, the colors in a rainbow are red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. A rainbow happens after it rains outside, when light from the sun reflects through raindrops in the air. The raindrops act as a prism that bends the light’s wavelengths, thus producing the beautiful array of colors we see.

In contrast, white light is made up of all the spectrum colors. It can be created by mixing the three main colors of light: red, green, and blue. Black is made by mixing these three main colors; actually, black paint is a lack of color since it absorbs all other colors. White and black colors do not belong in the rainbow.

The way humans see the color of an object depends on how that object absorbs light. For example, when white light shines on a green grape, all the colors in the light except the green color are absorbed. The green wavelength then projects into our eyes.

Though the rainbow has all the colors that are visible to humans, there are also colors outside of the rainbow moving at different frequencies that humans cannot see. These colors are called infrared, which is a type of radiation given off by warm-blooded animals, and ultraviolet, which are colors seen by bees in some flowers.

It’s very interesting to learn about the colors and how and why they operate the way they do along with understanding how these beautiful natural features work.

[Source: The Book of Questions and Answers]

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