Colour

The visual experience of colour is associated with words such as red, yellow and blue.

Things appear coloured to an observer because colour corresponds with properties of light that are visible to the human eye.

Properties of light that produce the experience of colour include wavelength, frequency and energy.

About light and colour
About white light
About the observation of colour

Things appear coloured to an observer because colour corresponds with a property of light that is visible to the human eye. The visual experience of colour is associated with words such as red, blue, yellow, etc.

  • The colour an observer sees depends on:
    • The range and intensity of wavelengths of visible light emitted by a light source.
    • The path that the light takes and the different media and materials it encounters on its journey from its source to the retina of a human eye.
    • Optical phenomena such as absorption, dispersion, diffraction, polarization, reflection, refraction, scattering and transmission.
    • Predispositions of an observer such as their personal and social experience and cultural context.