What is color?

What is color?

Let us first explain that the color is come from light by Newton's experiment of simulating the phenomenon of rainbows; then, after the light enters the human eye, photoreceptor cells will receive and act on the light for colors from the object; at last, let’s explore what happened when the light hits on the object, through the dance of light - Reflection, Absorption and Transmission to have further understand the color. In addition, since the judgment of the color is not the same by each person, through UPRtek spectrometer to determine the color consistency, color rendering and saturation...etc. Let’s agree to disagree.

The Experiment of Simulating the Phenomenon of Rainbow
In the experiment of simulating the phenomenon of rainbow, which was performed by Isaac Newton, he pointed a light beam at a prism. The light, as it went through it, bent or refracted and separated the light into different colors. It proved that light is made up of many colors. In a rainbow, the clear rain droplets act as small prisms, also dispersing light into different colors.
Nothing “has” Color
Besides, Sir Isaac Newton also established that the colors that we see on objects (e.g. apples) are not attached to those objects - the colors come from an original light source. In other words, nothing inherently has color - just turn off the light and you will “see”. Nothing has color!
Human’s Photoreceptor Cells
Light waves can enter our eyes. In the back of our eye is the retina - the retina has photoreceptor cells (cells that can receive and act on light waves) - These photoreceptors are called Rods and Cones.
Scotopic Vision and Photopic Vision
Rods (night) - Scotopic Vision
Cones (day) - Photopic Vision
The Rods are used in low light conditions and do not visualize colors well. The Cones however, are used in sunlight or lighted conditions and can process colors more effectively.
In the bright environment, the human eye is most sensitive to middle wavelength, yellow-green light (555 nm).
In the dark environment, the sensitivity of human eye shifts to lower wavelength, blue-green light (507 nm).
Human Visible Light Range
Light is considered electromagnetic radiation, which is a general term that includes all visible and invisible sources of electromagnetic waves, ranging from UV light, x-rays, visible waves, infrared to radio waves. As you see below, the Visible Light is only a very small portion of that. This much we know - all forms of electromagnetic radiation carries energy. According to Wikipedia, the range of wavelengths that can be perceived by the human eye generally falls in the range of 390nm to 700 nm. The range of light measured by UPRtek spectrometers falls from 380nm to 780 nm.
(Wikipedia: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E5%8F%AF%E8%A7%81%E5%85%89#cite_note-1)
Color Transfer Process
These Rods and Cones process light and send impulses through the Optic Nerve to our brain, which form an image IN OUR MINDS. Therefore, we may say our colors are inherently a human experience. And colors are come from light.
Dance of Light – Activities when Light Hit an Object
The red that you see in the apples come from the original light source, the sun, which reflects off the apple and reaches our eyes. What happened to blues, greens and yellows? The answer lies in three things that happen when a light source hits on an object:
Reflection
Reflect is when the light (e.g. red light) reflects off a surface.
◎       A white surface reflects all light. It makes sense to wear white in hot, sunny regions.
Absorption
This is what happened to the other colors in the apple example. The blues, yellows, greens were absorbed by the apple! The absorbed energy turned to heat in the apple.
◎       A black surface absorbs all light and this is why black is referred to as the absence of light.
Transmission
This is what a prism does; it lets the light go through (with a little refraction/bending).
Measurement – Agree to Disagree
When two people cannot agree on the same color...what to do? I believe you have had similar experience. This situation is normal. A reference to Wikipedia shows that there are more than 130 million photoreceptors on the retina... and each photoreceptor cell handles the transmission of different colors... So, the judgments of color are also different. Therefore, many international organizations establish color standards based on the needs of different industries, such as CRI, GAI, CQS, TM30-15, TLCI, and so on. UPRtek spectrometers provide you with standard measurements to help you determine color consistency, color rendering and saturation, etc. Let’s agree to disagree.
(Wikipedia: https://zh.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E8%A7%86%E7%BD%91%E8%86%9C)
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Related FAQ
The Technical Memorandum, TM-30-15, the new method published by IES in 2015 and has been proposed to the CIE. This new color evaluation function is expected to provide the angle of technological innovation for light source measuring, furthermore, it can help users analyze the color characteristics of the modern and the traditional solid-state light source, and thus enhance the fairness and accuracy of the measurement. Read More

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UPRtek What is color? Introduction

United Power Research Technology Corp. is Taiwan supplier and manufacturer in Optoelectronics Industry. UPRtek has been offering our customers high quality Spectrometer, Color Meter, Spectral PAR Meter, Spectral Color Meter, Spectrum, LED Meter, Spectradiometer, LED Measurement, LED light testing since 2010. With both advanced technology and 8 years experience, UPRtek always make sure to meet each customer's demand.


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