Colors of Light

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Although we don't always think about it, light can come in many colors. Do you know why? Check this out.

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Colors of Light

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Colors of Light

The world around you is full of wonderful colors. The beautiful flowers, the green meadows and the blue sky show different colors. We see colors only when light is shining. When it is dark we cannot see colors.

Sunlight is made up of a number of colors but what you see is really white color. When all the Sun’s colors are mixed together, the resulting color is white. Different colors of the light travel at different speeds in glass and in water. When the white light of the sun passes from air to water or air to glass, the different colors of the sunlight bend at different angles thus separating into the individual colors we see.

Scientists generally use a glass triangle called a prism to experiment with light, when the white light hits the glass prism, each color of the light bends at a different angle and the different colors separate into a rainbow.


Rainbow of Light
During a summer rain, we often see a rainbow when the sun is out. Each drop of water falling down acts as a prism. As the sunlight passes through these raindrops, the light rays bend and separate into the 7 colors of the rainbow. The colors always separate in the same order as violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, and red. To see any colors, the retinal cone cells must be stimulated by light.
Reflection of Light

The color of anything depends on the type of light sent to our eyes; light is necessary if we are to have any perception of color at all. An object is "colored," because of the light it reflects—all other colors are absorbed into that specific object. For example, a leaf appears green because it reflects the green light and absorbs the rest of the colors.

You can see color when receptor cells (called cones) on your eye's retina are stimulated by light. There are three types of cones, each sensitive to a particular color range. If one or more of the three types of cones becomes fatigued to the point where it responds less strongly than it normally would, the color you perceive from a given object will change.


Books on Light

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Other links on Light

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The Rainbow http://www.fi.edu/color/rainbow.html
Primary Colors of Light http://www.tooter4kids.com/Light_Color/primary_colors.htm
What is a Rainbow? http://www.tooter4kids.com/Light_Color/Rainbows.htm

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