Why is yellow the most visible color
The subject of "colors" concerns both physics (electromagnetic spectrum) and chemistry (VIS spectroscopy, dyes, pigments). Visible light covers the spectral range from approx. 380 nm (violet) to 780 nm (dark red), in the narrower sense 400 - 700 nm, since the sensitivity of the human eye decreases sharply towards the edges. The highest sensitivity is around 550 nm (yellow-green).
A representation of the light spectrum in the range from 430 nm to 681 nm using RGB values can be found on the website "The color spectrum in sRGB" (CIECAM02), an interactive website for building RGB colors is e.g. the "ColorPicker".
On websites you can display RGB colors e.g. in td elements of table lines using the attribute "bgcolor".<td bgcolor="#ff0000"> </td><td>#ff0000 (rot)</td>
|colour||RGB value||Complementary color||RGB value|
|# ff0000 (red)||# 00ffff (cyan, turquoise)|
|# 00ff00 (light green)||# ff00ff (magenta, fuchsin)|
|# 0000ff (blue)||# ffff00 (yellow)|
|# 8000ff (purple)||# 80ff00 (yellow-green)|
|# 6f00ff (indigo)||# 90ff00 (yellow-green)|
|# ff8000 (orange)||# 007fff (azure blue)|
|# 00ff80 (teal)||# ff0080 (purple)|
CD spectrum; the effect can only be explained by quantum electrodynamics (QED)
For reasons of number symbolism, one often speaks of seven spectral colors: violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red. The highlighting of "indigo" seems a bit arbitrary, one could just as well include green-blue, cyan (turquoise), blue-green and yellow-green. All spectral colors are standardized to maximum brightness, i.e. at least one RGB component must have the value 255 (0xff). The ring closure to the color wheel is interesting: the shades of the shortest-wave purple and the longest-wave red (purple) are very similar.
Spectral colors: names, sRGB values and wavelengths (CIECAM02)
|colour||sRGB value||wavelength||Color name|
|# 8700ff||430.0 nm||violet|
|# 0000ff||454.2 nm||blue|
|# 007fff||459.3 nm||azure|
|# 00ffff||490.4 nm||turquoise|
|# 00ff80||524.6 nm||turquoise green|
|# 00ff00||542.3 nm||green|
|# 80ff00||550.9 nm||yellow-green|
|# ffff00||571.0 nm||yellow|
|# ff8000||597.2 nm||orange|
|# ff0000||630.5 nm||red|
|# ff0028||681.0 nm||purple|
|colour||RGB value||wavelength||Color name|
|# ff000c||633.7 nm||red|
|# ff9c00||590.1 nm||yellow (orange)|
|# 00ff9f||515.2 nm||green|
|# 0080ff||459.4 nm||blue|
Among other things, due to the lack of luminosity and the lack of contrast, the LED colors appear too dark and falsified here. In reality, red, green and blue LEDs give subjectively pure color light, yellow LEDs appear orange-yellow (and not brownish as on the screen).
Complementary colors are obtained by subtracting the RGB values of the colors from the maximum value 255 (0xff). Color plus complementary color as well as the mixture of red, green and blue results in white light additive Color mixing.
Non-spectral colors (mixed colors)
In principle, there are an infinite number of different colors or shades. Only part of it can be observed in the spectrum (prism spectrum, grating spectrum or rainbow). Typical non-spectral colors (mixed colors) are purple, lavender, pink and brown. From a physical point of view, white, gray and black are not colors (achromatic areas).
|colour||RGB value||Color name|
|# ff00ff||magenta, fuchsia|
|#800080||purple (web color: purple)|
|# 9932cc||purple, lilac-colored (web color: DarkOrchid)|
|# ffc0cb||pink (web color: pink)|
|# a52a2a||brown (web color: Brown)|
|#808000||olive (color: olive)|
|#000080||navy blue (web color: navy)|
|#ffffff||white (web color: white)|
|#808080||gray (web color: gray)|
|#00000||black (web color: Black)|
Emission (spectral lines), transmission, fluorescence and remission
From a chemical point of view, colors are observed in emission (spectral lines of atoms, but also fluorescence and phosphorescence), in transmission (transmitted light) after light has passed through a colored solution or colored transparent material (glass, plastic) or in remission (reflection) Reflecting light through a colored surface (colored paper, colored textiles, leaves, flowers or fruits).
The transmission light of a colored solution or a colored transparent material shows the Complementary color of the absorption spectrum. This can approximately also be the case with the remission spectrum, but there are also special solid-state and surface effects.
The CMYK colors, i.e. cyan, magenta, yellow and black, are typically used as printing inks. Theoretically, the subtractive color mixture of cyan, magenta and yellow results in black, but in practice this is only "dirty".
Note: The color "cyan" was originally defined as the color of Berlin blue (Prussian blue, Turnbulls blue: iron (III) hexacyanoferrate (II)), a dark gray blue. "Magenta" was originally the name given to the color of the dye fuchsine.
|colour||RGB value||Color name|
|# 00b7eb||Cyan (print cyan)|
|# ff0090||Magenta (print magenta)|
|# ffe700||Yellow (process yellow)|
Opaque paints (Pelikan ink box)
The specified RGB values are self-determined approximate values.
|colour||RGB value||Color name|
|# f1913e||Indian yellow|
|# c38b3a||Ocher yellow|
|# d45a42||Vermilion dark|
|# af6447||Brothers Siena|
|# 695a3e||Umber nat.|
|# 7a8a3a||olive green|
|# 33ab77||French green|
|# 419a7f||Blue green|
|# 2789a0||Turquoise blue|
|# 4581d6||Cobalt blue|
|# 2d80b1||Cyan blue|
|# 445ba7||Ultramarine blue|
|# dcb29e||Flesh color|
Remarks: The color tone recorded in the digital photo is heavily dependent on the lighting conditions. "Yellow green" is actually "light green", "violet" is more purple, and "black" is dark gray. The metallic luster of the two metal colors silver and gold is hardly visible in the photo and is not present in the analyzed color (light gray or golden yellow).
Additive and subtractive color mixing
Additive color mixtures are obtained by superimposing light of different wavelengths and intensities. In principle, the three basic colors red, green and blue (RGB) are sufficient for this (color television, colored computer screens). Their RGB values are obtained by adding the RGB values of the components and, if necessary, normalizing them; the maximum value of a component must not exceed 255 (0xff). The RGB components may have to be scaled down proportionally.
Subtractive color mixtures are created by mixing opaque colors (pigments), e.g. in an ink box or on a palette. Red, green and blue or cyan, magenta and yellow make black.
Some subtractive color mixes
|Color 1||Color 2||Mixed color||Explanation|
|yellow and red give orange|
|yellow and blue gives green *)|
|red and green gives brown|
|red and blue gives purple|
*) Theoretically, pure blue and pure "complementary blue" (yellow as a mixed color) result in black when mixed with subtractive colors. In practice, e.g. with an ink box, you get a dirty green.
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