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 brief definition.
  • Bullet points follow the definition and provide both context and detail.
  • Links embedded in the text throughout the site (highlighted in blue) link back to DICTIONARY entries.
  • Shorter summaries of terms also appear on DIAGRAM pages under the heading SOME KEY TERMS. These entries strip definitions back to basics and can be viewed 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 specialization 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 make sense of the content (as explained below).
Terms, definitions and explanations
  • All the terms we have selected are widely used and are applied consistently across the topics of light, colour and vision.
  • The definitions and explanations avoid topic-specific vocabulary and terms with different meanings in different fields.
  • As far as possible definitions contain no more than two short sentences.
  • Embedded links (highlighted in blue) connect to explanations of terms that might be unfamiliar.
  • The explanations that follow each definition are arranged as short bullet points and 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.
  • Because our readership is diverse, a series of bullet points often provide different perspectives on a single term or topic.


Show me the DIAGRAMS