Question
Sat March 17, 2012 By:

What are Colors Absorbed & Reflected Of Following: 1)Red 2)Blue 3)Green 4)Yellow 5)Violet 6)Cyan ? Plz Explain.

Expert Reply
Sat March 17, 2012

 materials contain atoms that are capable of selectively absorbing one or more frequencies of light. Consider a shirt made of a material that is capable of absorbing blue light. Such a material will absorb blue light (if blue light shines upon it) and reflect the other frequencies of the visible spectrum. What appearance will such a shirt have if illuminated with white light and how can we account for its appearance? To answer this question (and any other similar question), we will rely on our understanding of the three primary colors of light (red, green and blue) and the three secondary colors of light (magenta, yellow and cyan)

To begin, consider white light to consist of the three primary colors of light - red, green and blue. If white light is shining on a shirt, then red, green and blue light is shining on the shirt. If the shirt absorbs blue light, then only red and green light will be reflected from the shirt. So while red, green and blue light shine upon the shirt, only red and green light will reflect from it. Red and green light striking your eye always gives the appearance of yellow; for this reason, the shirt will appear yellow. This discussion illustrates the process of color subtraction. In this process, the ultimate color appearance of an object is determined by beginning with a single color or mixture of colors and identifying which color or colors of light are subtracted from the original set. The process is depicted visually by diagram at the right. Furthermore, the process is depicted in terms of an equation in the space below.

W - B = (R + G + B) - B = R + G = Y

Now suppose that cyan light is shining on the same shirt - a shirt made of a material that is capable of absorbing blue light. What appearance will such a shirt have if illuminated with cyan light and how can we account for its appearance? To answer this question, the process of color subtraction will be applied once more. In this situation, we begin with only blue and green primary colors of light (recall that cyan light consists of blue and green light). From this mixture, we must subtract blue light. After the subtractive process, only green light remains. Thus, the shirt will appear green in the presence of cyan light. Observe the representation of this by the diagram at the right and the equation below.

C - B = (G + B) - B = G

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