# The Visible Spectrum

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## Description

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

#### The Visible Spectrum

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

1. Is visible light a form of electromagnetic radiation?
2. Name six bands of colour in the visible spectrum starting with red?
3. What is the band of colour with the longest range of wavelengths?
4. What is the band of colour with the shortest range of wavelengths?
5. What is nm the shorthand for? ?

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

This diagram is about sunlight, the visible spectrum and which wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation correspond with the different colours we see in the world.

The diagram shows that wavelengths of light within the visible spectrum correspond with the different colours we see in the world.

Notice that:

• The white arrows in the diagram represent the Sun emitting sunlight at every wavelength of the visible spectrum.
• The term white light is used when all colours of the visible spectrum are mixed together.
• The coloured arrows represent six bands of wavelengths of visible light corresponding with red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet.
• The list on the left shows the range of wavelengths corresponding with each band of colour.
• The red arrow, for example, corresponds with wavelengths between 700 nanometres and 620 nanometres.
• Red is the colour an observer sees if any wavelength in that range strikes a neutral coloured surface.
• The scale along the bottom is marked in nanometres and shows the visible spectrum divided into coloured bands.

Remember that:

• Objects appear to be different colours to an observer depending on their wavelength.
• The name given to light that contains all wavelengths of the visible spectrum is white light.
• When all wavelengths contained in white light reflect off a neutral coloured surface then the object appears white to an observer.
• When a narrow band of wavelengths reflect off a neutral coloured surface then the object appears coloured to an observer.
• The colour an observer sees depends on the wavelengths of visible light emitted by a light source and on which of those wavelengths are reflected off an object.
• Although a human observer can distinguish between many thousands of wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum our brains often produce the impression of bands of colour.

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.

#### Colour

Things appear coloured because colour corresponds with a property of light that is visible to the human eye. The visual ...

Electromagnetic radiation is a type of energy more commonly simply called light. Detached from its source, it is transported by ...

#### Nanometre

A nanometre is a unit of measurement of the wavelength of electromagnetic radiation ...

#### Spectral colour

A spectral colour is a colour evoked in normal human vision by a single wavelength of visible light, or by ...

#### Visible light

Visible light is the range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation perceived as colour by human observers. Visible light is a ...

#### Wavelength

Wavelength is a measurement from any point on the path of a wave to the same point on its next ...

#### Slides

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

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.

#### 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.

#### JPG file format

• 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.