About this dictionary

This DICTIONARY OF LIGHT, COLOUR & VISION contains a vocabulary of closely interrelated terms that underpin all the resources you will find here at lightcolourvision.org.

  • Each term has its own page in the DICTIONARY and starts with a DEFINITION.
  • Bullet points follow that provide both context and detail.
  • Links embedded in the text throughout the site (highlighted in blue) take you directly to DICTIONARY entries.
  • Shorter SUMMARIES of terms appear on DIAGRAM PAGES under the heading SOME KEY TERMS. These entries strip definitions back to basics and can be viewed without leaving the page.
Why a dictionary of light, colour & vision
  • One of the practical objectives of this website is to make the connections between the topics of light, colour and vision accessible to students and researchers of all ages.
  • Our DICTIONARY aims to avoid a problem faced by websites such as Wikipedia where articles are often composed by contributors with narrow specialisation and their own topic-specific vocabulary.
  • The layout of the DICTIONARY also aims to avoid situations where a single unknown word or phrase makes it difficult, if not impossible, for our visitors to find the information they need (as explained below).
Terms, definitions and explanations
  • All the terms we have selected for the DICTIONARY are widely used and are applied consistently across the topics of light, colour and vision.
  • The aim is to avoid definitions and explanations with different meanings in different fields.
  • As far as possible definitions contain no more than two short sentences.
  • The explanations that follow each definition are arranged as short bullet points that avoid paragraphs of information completely.
  • Each bullet makes a stand-alone point and is intended to deal with a single piece of information that we believe is likely to be important to our readership.
  • The writing style across all terms aims to be clear, accessible and engaging.
  • The idea is to enable our visitors to find and digest information quickly and to confirm facts one at a time.
  • Because our readership and their concerns are diverse, bullet points sometimes provide different perspectives on a single term or topic.