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The Science of Colour Perception

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Exploring the intricacies of colour perception, this content delves into the physics of light, the visible spectrum, and how human biology interprets these signals. It covers the wavelength-dependent nature of colour, the principles of additive colour mixing, and the impact of light absorption on the appearance of objects. Additionally, it discusses the biological mechanisms of human colour vision and the variables that influence colour perception in natural and artificial environments.

Understanding Colour Perception in Physics

Colour perception is the result of the interaction between the physical properties of light and the biological functions of the human visual system. In the realm of physics, colour corresponds to the wavelength of light within the visible spectrum, a segment of the electromagnetic spectrum that can be detected by the human eye. The spectrum ranges from red light, which has the longest wavelength at approximately 700 nanometers, to violet light, with the shortest wavelength around 400 nanometers. This scientific understanding of light's properties is crucial for explaining how we perceive the myriad colours of objects around us.

The Visible Spectrum and Its Significance

The visible spectrum represents the range of electromagnetic wavelengths that are detectable by the human eye, typically from about 400 to 700 nanometers. Within this spectrum, each colour is defined by its unique wavelength, with red light having the longest wavelength and violet the shortest. The spectrum's order from red to violet corresponds to the decreasing order of wavelengths and is a foundational concept for the scientific categorization of colours.

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Colour perception stems from the interplay between light's ______ properties and the ______ functions of the human visual system.




In physics, colour is linked to light's ______ within the visible spectrum, which ranges from red light at roughly ______ nanometers to violet at about ______ nanometers.





Visible spectrum range in nanometers

400 to 700 nanometers


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