Light And Color: Contrasting Theories Of Color

analytical Essay
1818 words
1818 words

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. …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Explains the correlation between light and color, and the symbolic nature of color and how it affects the psychology of observers.
  • Explains that isaac newton had a fascination with color and its relationship with light. he came up with multiple hypotheses to explain what mechanical properties of light caused the appearance of different colors.
  • Describes how newton experimented with the use of microscopes and telescopes to manipulate rays of light.
  • Explains how newton proved that prisms and mirrors do not change the properties of light and don't cause cause color.
  • Explains that the sun's white light is homogenial, meaning that it is composed of all the colors of light. modern scientists refer to this feature as a monochroma.
  • Explains that unlike his previous theory, he no longer postulates that the force of the particles hitting the eye causes the perception of color, but the inertia of these particles.
  • Explains newton's decision to separate the spectrum of light into seven separate colors, red, yellow, orange, green, blue, indigo, and violet.
  • Analyzes newton's theory of color, stating that white light is composed of all of the different particles and therefore homogenial. he created a particle theory of light that attributes color to the respective masses and inertias of particles.
  • Analyzes how goethe challenged newton's theory of light and color in his paper zur farbenlehre.
  • Explains that goethe's theory states that the appearance of the sky displays this phenomenon.
  • Explains goethe's claim that a special type of turbid medium that results in the phenomena of an entire spectrum of colors is the prism.
  • Explains goethe's theory that color is not a physical thing that exists on its own, it only becomes part of reality when it is perceived by people.
  • Analyzes newton and goethe's contributions to the scientific, psychological, and artistic understanding of color.

Newton acquired many of these lenses and began to experiment with how they could manipulate rays of light. In one of his experiments he had a beam of sunlight pass through one of the prisms and observed a spectrum of light hitting the wall of a dark room. He continues to manipulate these experiments. In one he drilled a small hole into a board placed against a window and then placed a prism over the hole. He projected this beam of light onto a wall as well as on a white sheet of paper. This created a round white image with a sliver of blue around the upper rim and red around the lower rim. He performed another experiment in which he had a beam of white light pass through one prism which separated the different colors and then made it pass through an identical prism that was upside down, which turned the beam back into plain white light. Through these experiments he showed that light can be both decomposed and put back

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