Combining Different Wavelengths of Light to make White

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To find out more about the diagram above . . . . read on!

Combining Different Wavelengths of Light to make White

Look carefully at the diagram at the top of the page. Now check out the following questions (and answers)!

  1. What do the letters RGB refer to? 
  2. What do the letters ROYGBV refer to?
  3. What is the visible spectrum?
  4. What is white light?
  5. What is a continuous spectrum?

About the Diagram

Introducing the diagram! Read back and forward between the image at the top of the page and the explanation below!

This diagram looks at three situations in which an observer will see white light reflected off a dark surface.

Three different light sources are shown in the diagram.

  • Each light source produces a different combination of wavelengths and each wavelength has the same intensity.
  • The light source at the top of the diagram contains three component colours: RGB (red, green, blue).
  • The light source on the left contains six component colours – ROYGBV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet).
  • The light source on the right contains a continuous spectrum of wavelengths which means it contains many thousands of component colours.
  • In each case, the light source is projected onto a dark neutral coloured surface.

Remember that:

The surface where the light sources are focused appear white:

  • When wavelengths corresponding with the three primary colours (RGB) are reflected off the surface towards an observer.
  • When wavelengths corresponding with ROYGBV are reflected off the surface towards an observer.
  • When all the wavelengths of the visible spectrum are reflected off the surface towards an observer.

Follow the blue links for definitions . . . . or check the summaries of key terms below!

Some Key Terms

Move to the next level! Check out the following terms.

Electromagnetic spectrum

The electromagnetic spectrum includes electromagnetic waves with all possible wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation, ranging from low energy radio waves through ...
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Primary colour

Primary colours are a set of colours from which others can be produced by mixing (pigments, dyes etc.) or overlapping ...
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RGB colour

To be clear about RGB colour it is useful to remember first that: The visible spectrum is the range of ...
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ROYGBV

ROYGBV is an acronym for the sequence of hues (colours) commonly described as making up a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, ...
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Visible spectrum

The visible part of the electromagnetic spectrum is called the visible spectrum. The visible spectrum is the range of wavelengths ...
Read More

White light

White light is the name given to visible light that contains all wavelengths of the visible spectrum at equal intensities ...
Read More

More Information

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Slides


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All slides share common specifications:

  • Titles: All slides have titles.
  • Backgrounds: Black, framed with a violet gradient.
  • Size: 1686 x 1124 pixels (3:2 aspect ratio).
  • Slides are available in two file formats: JPG, AI (Adobe Illustrator).

Slides are optimized for viewing on-screen or with a projector.
Diagrams are optimized for printing on A4 pages in portrait format.

ABOUT DIAGRAMS

Diagrams


All images on the lightcolourvision.org website are available for download as either slides or diagrams.

All diagrams share common specifications:

  • Titles: No titles.
  • Backgrounds: White.
  • Size: 1686 pixels wide. So all diagrams reproduce at the same scale when inserted into Word documents etc.
  • Labels: Calibri 24pt Italic.
  • Diagrams are available in two file formats: JPG, AI (Adobe Illustrator).

Diagrams are optimized for printing on A4 pages in portrait format.
Slides are optimized for viewing on-screen or using a projector.

FILE TYPES - JPG

JPG file format


Download the image at the top of this page as a JPG file:

  • All JPG images available for download are 1686px wide.
  • Text on JPG images with white backgrounds is styled as Calibri 24pt Italic.
  • If the image you need is not exactly right, download it as an AI (Adobe Illustrator) file and edit it.
  • All the images on these Resource Pages were created in Adobe Illustrator and are vector drawings.

Did you know:

  • JPG stands for Joint Photographic Experts Group who created the standard.
  • The JPG file extension is used interchangeably with JPEG.
  • JPG files can be compressed for use on websites.
  • JPG files can be placed or pasted directly into MS Office documents.

FILE TYPES - AI

AI (Adobe Illustrator) file format


Download the image at the top of this page as an AI (Adobe Illustrator) file:

  • All AI images available for download from lightcolourvision.org are 1686px wide.
  • All the images on these Resource Pages were created in Adobe Illustrator and are vector drawings.
  • Vector drawing can be scaled up or down without any loss of quality.

Did you know:

  • AI  files downloaded from lightcolourvision.org can be re-edited using Adobe Illustrator for your own personal use.
  • Adobe Illustrator can save or export AI files to other formats including PDF (.pdf), PNG (.png), JPG (.jpeg) and SVG(.svg) etc.

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Download agreement

Download Agreement


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If you are a student, educator or researcher you might also like to read our posts Copyright: Credit where credit’s due and Citation and bibliographies before copying and pasting material into essays, assignments or other academic work. They include advice on avoiding plagiarism and how to credit other people’s words, images and assets before submitting your work for marking or assessment. If you are confused, just ask a friendly teacher, librarian, or other member of academic staff.


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