Colors and Dyes
What is color? Although we know it's in the visible spectrum, color is more complex than we think. Just like dyes and many other things, there is certain science behind it and the name of that science is called chromatics. With the technology we have today, we can pinpoint the chemistry of an object with a snap. So with color, we pinpoint the chemistry by studying wavelengths, the distance between two connecting peaks or troughs of a wave.
Light that reflects of an object is seen as color in the human eye. Color can be related to objects, light, and materials just by the way we perceive it. Color can also have effects on the human body or mood just by its wavelengths being reflected onto you by a light. However, color can only be seen within wavelengths of 400 nm and 700 nm which make up the visible spectrum. These wavelengths in the visible spectrum have frequencies ranging from 430 to 790 THz.
Out of the whole electromagnetic spectrum consisting of x rays, ultraviolet rays, infrared rays, microwaves, and radio waves, the visible spectrum is made up of the only rays of light people can see. Also, the way our pupils receive light affects how we see color because when the environment we are in or object we are observing is reflecting too much light, our pupils decrease in size so we don't take in too much light. In addition, when we are in an environment or observing an object that reflects little light, our pupils increase in size so that we are able to absorb more light so we will be able to see the color of our surroundings. Within the visible spectrum, the light that we see from an object is called complementary colors. Complementary colors are the leftover colors that we see after the light of the original color is removed.
Removed Observed Removed Observed
Violet Yellow-green Yellow-green Violet
Blue Yellow Yellow Blue
Cyan Orange Orange Cyan
Blue-green Red Red Blue-green
Green Purple Purple Green
Just like there are complementary colors, there are pure colors, which are colors we see resulting from one wavelength. In addition, the light that we see is classified by the three colors cones we have in our retina, which is red, green, and blue. However, with each of the cones having their own sensitivity level, each cone picks up different wavelengths relating to that cone color and within the spectrum. But two lights that we can distinguish are red and violet lights, the red light having a low frequency and long wavelength, and the violet light having a high frequency and short wavelength. In addition, light with long wavelengths tend to be readily seen than light with short wavelengths. But with dye, it's a little more complex.
With dye, you have a chemical that absorbs the energy of the wavelengths. When it absorbs a certain wavelength, the light that comes off it will be a certain color. Other factors that contribute to the color of dye is a color-bearing group called a...