Color Theory Research

4574 Words Jun 29th, 2005 19 Pages
Color fills our world with beauty. We delight in the colors of a magnificent sunset and in the bright red and golden-yellow leaves of autumn. We are charmed by gorgeous flowering plants and the brilliantly colored arch of a rainbow. We also use color in various ways to add pleasure and interest to our lives. For example, many people choose the colors of their clothes carefully and decorate their homes with colors that create beautiful, restful, or exciting effects. By their selection and arrangement of colors, artists try to make their paintings more realistic or expressive.

Color serves as a means of communication. In sports, different colored uniforms show which team the players are on. On streets and highways, a red traffic light
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See ELECTROMAGNETIC WAVES.

Such objects as traffic lights and neon signs appear colored because the light that they give off contains a limited range of wavelengths. However, most objects appear colored because their chemical structure absorbs certain wavelengths of light and reflects others. When sunlight strikes a carrot, for example, molecules in the carrot absorb most of the light of short wavelengths. Most of the light of longer wavelengths is reflected. When these longer wavelengths of light reach our eyes, the carrot appears orange.

An object that reflects most of the light of all wavelengths in nearly equal amounts appears white. An object that absorbs most of the light of all wavelengths in nearly equal amounts appears black.

How we see color

The roles of the eyes and brain. Our ability to see color depends on many highly complicated workings of the eyes and brain. When we look at an object, light coming from the object enters our eyes. Each eye focuses the light, forming an image of the object on the retina. The retina is a thin layer of tissue covering the back and sides of the inside of the eyeball. It contains millions of light-sensitive cells. These cells absorb most of the light that falls on the retina and convert the light to electrical signals. These electrical signals then travel through nerves to the brain.

The retina has two main types of

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