Continuous spectrum

A continuous spectrum, emitted by a light source such as the Sun, consists of a continuum of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation across the visible spectrum.

  • A continuous spectrum of light is produced by a light source that emits photons over a continuous range of wavelengths.
  • A continuous spectrum of colours is produced by the spectral colour model when a range of fully saturated colours are displayed in order of their corresponding wavelength.
  • A saturated colour is produced by a single wavelength (or narrow range of wavelengths) of light.
  • In the case of sunlight, a continuous spectrum of all the colours that make up the visible spectrum shows a full range of colours with red at one end and violet at the other.
  • White light must be dispersed by a prism or a raindrop if its constituent colours are to be visible to an observer.
  • The colours produced by the RBG colour model and the CMY colour model produce colour wheels rather than a continuous spectrum.


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