Weinacht, Thomas Department of Physics and Astronomy, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, New York.
Last reviewed:August 2020
Show previous versions
- Color, published December 2018:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Color, published January 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- HSL color scheme
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The visual perception of different wavelengths of light. Light can be understood both as electromagnetic waves and as particles called photons. Photons can have different energies. The energy of a photon determines the frequency and wavelength of the wave. The full range of wavelengths is known as the electromagnetic spectrum, which spans from the longest wavelength (lowest frequency) radio waves to the shortest wavelength (highest frequency) gamma rays. In common usage, "light" refers to the small sliver of the spectrum that the human visual system is able to perceive—wavelengths between approximately 400 nanometers and 700 nanometers (1 nm = one-billionth of a meter). Each wavelength of visible light corresponds to a different color, which, in combination with other wavelengths, produces the rich palette of colors humans can distinguish (Fig. 1). See also: Color vision; Electromagnetic radiation; Electromagnetic wave; Light; Photon
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Contributors include more than 10,000 highly qualified scientists and 45 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8700 articles covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 19,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information