How do we see colours

Colours continue serving as a gateway to science. Simon has been comparing mixing paints and light waves and came to the conclusion that primary colours in paint (magenta, yellow, cyan) are the secondary colours in mixing light and the other way around – the primary colours in mixing light (RGB – red, green and blue) are secondary when mixing paints. When mixing the maximum intensity of all the three primary colours in paints you get black (no light), when mixing all the three light waves you get white (maximum light). That’s how light and paint are the opposites of each other, Simon told me.

– How do we get violet paint? – I asked.

– We add full intensity magenta, and half intensity yellow and half intensity cyan.

– But why do we see violet? – I asked.

– It’s because all the green light is being absorbed, and all the blue light is being reflected, and 60 percent of red is being reflected! – Simon explained. He can also give similar explanations about other colours.


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