what is color?

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Kyng

Second Lieutenant
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Feb 10, 2022
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Do things actually have color in and of themselves? Or are our eyes and brains deceiving us? Is color from a reflection of light and certain wavelengths are abhorred, and others reflected?

@SpookyZalost
@Kyng
zoldosNo, they don't.

It is true that different-coloured objects reflect and absorb different wavelengths of light. For example, 'green' objects reflect light with a wavelength of 495-570nm, and 'red' objects reflect light with a wavelength of 620-750nm. However, it's still up to our eyes and brain to interpret these wavelengths - and we only interpret these as 'red' and 'green' because of the specific way in which our brains are wired. If our minds were wired differently, then we might 'see' these colours differently.

Here's a fun fact: cats see red and green as the same colour, because they don't have different 'red' and 'green' visual receptors in their eyes (whereas we humans do). And some birds can see UV light (because they have UV light receptors which we don't).

I guess it's a bit like language. When see the symbol 'H' on a page, we interpret it as a 'h'-sound. But that's only because the Latin Alphabet happens to assign that symbol to that sound. Other alphabets also have that same symbol, but it represents a different sound; for example, Russian also has an 'H' symbol as part of its alphabet - but there, it represents a 'n' sound.

The symbol 'H' exists, but there's no inherent "h-ness" about it. Likewise, the different wavelengths all exist, but there's no inherent 'red-ness' or 'green-ness' to them.
 
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Leviathan
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Very interesting! Another posit, why are there all these light wave lengths? And why do they all combine to form visible "white" light? Does each wave length have it's own photon equivalent?
 
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Leviathan
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Color is simply the reflected light that isn't absorbed by a surface. It'd be more apt to describe red for example as everything but red.
SpookyZalostSo without light, nothing has color? I've often gone for walks late at night and observed that everything is in shades of grey. Also, why does white light consist of "all" colors combined to begin with?
 

SpookyZalost

Technomancer
Macabre Soul
So without light, nothing has color? I've often gone for walks late at night and observed that everything is in shades of grey. Also, why does white light consist of "all" colors combined to begin with?
zoldosWhite is black and black is white. Black is the absorption of all color, white is the reflection of all color.

Without light nothing has color. But a region without visible radiation does not truly exist. Even at night there is some light
 
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Leviathan
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White is black and black is white. Black is the absorption of all color, white is the reflection of all color.

Without light nothing has color. But a region without visible radiation does not truly exist. Even at night there is some light
SpookyZalostNow you're talking. I love the concept of things not actually existing unless being observed or as you said, with the absence of visible radiation. But what this really mean? Are there such regions in the universe? Besides, everything is a wave until observed. :)
 

SpookyZalost

Technomancer
Macabre Soul
Now you're talking. I love the concept of things not actually existing unless being observed or as you said, with the absence of visible radiation. But what this really mean? Are there such regions in the universe? Besides, everything is a wave until observed. :)
zoldosSo that's where it gets interesting. The color exists regardless but it's not visible until it can reflect light.

Theoretically though there are places in the universe that should be truly absent of photons. The great voids. Dense stellar clouds. Hell there are efforts to create tru black on earth with super advanced paints that absorb as much light as you can imagine though not 100%

In the end though. It won't really come true for trillions of years after the age of iron stars when there's nothing left to produce that light other than the occasional evaporating black hole dieing.
 
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Leviathan
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Very interesting! Do you think there are regions like that in our own galaxy?

About the paint, what is the reason to create "true black"?
 

SpookyZalost

Technomancer
Macabre Soul
Very interesting! What would it "look" like to stare into a room covered with true black "paint"?
zoldosAs a Nietzschean there's a saying. When you stare long into the abyss, it stares back into you... I think this applies. But I've never actually been in a true black space. Though I hear sensory deprivation can make you hallucinate after a while.
 
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Leviathan
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As a Nietzschean there's a saying. When you stare long into the abyss, it stares back into you... I think this applies. But I've never actually been in a true black space. Though I hear sensory deprivation can make you hallucinate after a while.
SpookyZalostYup, I've heard that! My older brother loves float tanks. You basically float in a vat of water with absolutely no sound or visual stimulus. He said it was an amazing experience.

What is a "Nietzschean"?
 

SpookyZalost

Technomancer
Macabre Soul
Yup, I've heard that! My older brother loves float tanks. You basically float in a vat of water with absolutely no sound or visual stimulus. He said it was an amazing experience.

What is a "Nietzschean"?
zoldosSomeone who follows the philosophy and teachings of Nietzsche. That's a whole topic onto it's self but if you're curious I highly recommend beyond good and evil. It's a really good book.
 
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