Other Free Encyclopedias » Science Encyclopedia » Science & Philosophy: Cluster compound to Concupiscence » Color - Light And Color, Rainbows, Refraction: The Bending Of Light, Diffraction And Interference, Transparent, Translucent, And Opaque

Color - Colors Are Everywhere

red light plants substance

Color influences many of our daily decisions, consciously or unconsciously from what we eat and what we wear. Color enhances the quality of our lives, it helps us to fully appreciate the beauty of colors. Colors are also an important function of the psychology and physiology of human sensation. Even before the ancient civilizations in prehistoric times, color symbolism was already in use.

Different colors have different meanings which are universal. Colors can express blue moods. On the other hand, these could be moods of tranquility or moods of conflict, sorrow or pleasure, warm and cold, boring or stimulating. In several parts of the world, people have specific meanings for different colors. An example is how Eskimos indicate the different numbers of snow conditions. They have seventeen separate words for white snow. In the west the bride wears white, in China and in the Middle East area white is worn for mourning. Of all colors, that most conspicuous and universal is red.

The color red can be violent, aggressive, and exciting. The expression "seeing red" indicates one's anger in most parts of the world. Red appears in more national and international colors and red cars are more often used than any other color. Homes can be decorated to suit the personalities of the people living in them. Warm shades are often used in living rooms because it suggests sociability. Cool shades have a quieting effect, suitable for study areas. Hospitals use appropriate colors depending on those that appeal to patients in recovery, in surgery, or very sick patients. Children in schools are provided bright colored rooms. Safety and certain color codes are essential. The color red is for fire protection, green is for first aid, and red and green colors are for traffic lights.

Human beings owe their survival to plants. The function of color in the flowering plants is to attract bees and other insects—to promote pollination. The color of fruits attract birds and other animals which help the distribution of seeds. The utmost relationship between humans and animals and plants are the chlorophylls. The green coloring substance of leaves and the yellowish green chlorophyll is associated with the production of carbohydrates by photosynthesis in plants. Life and the quality of the earth's atmosphere depends on photosynthesis.


Resources

Books

Birren, Faber. Color—A Survey in Words and Pictures. New Hyde Park, NY: University Books, Inc, 1963.

Birren, Faber. History of Color in Painting. New York: Reinhold Publishing Corporation, 1965.

Birren, Faber. Principles of Color. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1969.

Hewitt, Paul. Conceptual Physics. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2001.

Meadows, Jack. The Great Scientists. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

Verity, Enid. Color Observed. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co., 1990.


Periodicals

Cunningham, James, and Norman Herr. "Waves." "Light." Hands on Physics Activities with Real Life Applications West Nyack, NY: Center for Applied Research Education, 1994.

Kosvanec, Jim. "Mixing Grayed Color." American Artist 1994.

Suding, Heather, and Jeanne Bucegross. "A Simple Lab Activity to Teach Subtractive Color and Beer's Law," Journal of Chemical Education, 1994.


Nasrine Adibe

KEY TERMS

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Beams

—Many rays of light.

Colorant

—A chemical substance that gives color to such materials as ink, paint, crayons and chalk.

Diffraction

—The bending of light.

Hue

—The observable visual different between two wavelengths of color.

Light

—A form of energy that travels in waves.

Mirage

—An optical illusion.

Pigment

—A substance which becomes paint or ink when it is mixed with a liquid.

Ray

—A thin line of light.

Reflection

—The change in direction of light when it strikes a substance but does not pass through it.

Refraction

—The bending of light that occurs when traveling from one medium to another, such as air to glass or air to water.

Spectrum

—A display of the intensity of radiation versus wavelength.

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