Contrasting Theories Of Color And Color Essay

Contrasting Theories Of Color And Color Essay

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Contrasting Theories of Color

There has always been an understood correlation between light and color. Color cannot be seen when there is no light,but if there is too much light the world will only appear white. Today there is an understanding of what it is that makes color and how light is the key to it. It is understood that an object appears to have a color only when its apparent color is reflected back. There is also a known correlation between the wavelengths of light and their apparent color. Along with the physics of color there is a greater understanding of the symbolic nature of color and how it affects the psychology of observers. Psychologists, artists, and therapists of all sorts have a greater understanding of the human perception of color because of the great thinkers of the past. To men who contributed to this greater understanding of color were Isaac Newton and Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

Isaac Newton had a particular fascination with color and its relationship with light; being a physicist, Newton was determined to explain the mechanical aspect of color. He came up with multiple hypotheses to explain what mechanical properties of light caused the appearance of different colors before setting on his actual theory of color. First, he proposed that rays of light moved at different speeds and this difference is what caused the different colors. For example, yellows and reds are caused by rays that move slowly, while green, blue, and purple rays move much quicker. He dismissed this hypothesis rather quickly and instead proposed that each color moved at the same speed but each were composed of particles that had their own set mass. The size of the particle determined with what force the ray impacted the eye. Red ...


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...istic understanding of color. Newton was more mechanically orientated and was able to explain what physical characteristics of light created color. Although he was incorrect in his theory of particle color, he was able to explain that light is indeed a homogenial phenomena. He was incorrect in stating that it is mass and inertia that create individual colors, it is now understood that the wavelength of light is the cause of color. However, the notion that color is caused by an mechanical property if the individual ray of light has held true. Goethe’s theory of the relation of light and dark to color has proven to be incorrect. However, his theory on the psychology of color is still widely used by marketers, artists, and psychologists. The time withstanding contributions on color theory that each man created can be seen as reflecting their own individual strengths.

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