Talk:Color/Archive 5

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Ewwww - I'm sorry but can we remove the flashy pic? It HURTS THE EYES!! Honestly though, there really doesen't seem a great reason to keep it - it's more showy than informative - but if no one else thinks its distracting I won't say another word about it. I'll leave this up for - say 12 hours before I do anything - but someone else might soondanielfolsom © 03:23, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Why waste time talking when you could have been removing it? I got it. Dicklyon 03:56, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Because I wanted to make sure there was a consensus to remove it ... as opposed to potentially starting a 'revert war'danielfolsom ©
It was a rhetorical question. Dicklyon 04:31, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I'm aware of that - I'm saying - are you sure we should just remove the pic without leaving it open for discussion?danielfolsom ©
It was definitely revert-worthy. --Yath 07:16, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
I was compelled; couldn't take time to think it over, or I might die. Dicklyon 16:55, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Yuk,revert, borderline vandalism.--Ianmacm 08:01, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Revert. Fred Hsu 14:07, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Ok ok, I get it! :-D danielfolsom ©
Maybe next I'll work on your signature. Ouch! Dicklyon 16:55, 8 April 2007 (UTC)
Ummm... ok .... (I like my sign.)danielfolsom © 05:27, 11 April 2007 (UTC)

Color Theory for Artists

Most of what I saw on WKPDA has to do with color as seen on a computer or in a physics lab. An artist coming to here to learn about color would not get much help.

For example, under the topic COLOR SCHEMES there are references to "dark on light" and "light on dark". Those aren't the only color schemes, in fact it even sounds silly to just leave it at that.

I have some confusion about the meaning of "original research". If I fill out some information about color schemes for artists from personal knowledge will my efforts be deleted as "original research"?

Johnd123 03:08, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Why don't you find some books to reference the main points, and then write it up based on your experience? If you make various claims and assertions based on your experience alone, without sources, that's WP:OR and not what is needed. But take it up on the Talk:color scheme page if that's more relevant. Dicklyon 03:45, 20 April 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for your reply, Dicklyon.

While there are some books on color, most artists do not learn color by reading, we learn by looking because the formal qualities of art are not words they are pictures. They are color, line, shape, blend, value —that sort of thing. You have some tubes of paint and you rearrange their contents to make relationships. Study of these relationships is what would be useful to an artist. Artists interested in learning about color would do well to be given the outline of some exercises and then be left alone with their materials to work it out and then let it all sink in. Problem is, many artists don't know all the exercises that will be useful. I certainly don't, but I do know some and will be happy to share them.

Everytime I hear a statement like "Warm colors advance, Cool colors recede." I am reminded that there are many examples to disprove it. So much is subjective in the arts that I want to say the experience of it is more useful than the knowledge of it. So, quoting, referencing or rewriting from some encyclopedic source is not as helpful to the working painter as you might imagine. I just don't want to go to a big effort of writing and have someone delete it because it needs references. An encyclopedia isn't going to teach art. A book isn't going to teach art. But exercises can.

Sorry, it sounds like I'm being more obnoxious than I intend. I know this WKPDA project is an effort to expand knowledge not restrict it. And that is exactly what I am trying to get at. I am trying to figure out how I can make a contribution based on what I have learned. Maybe I'm not the right person to do this.

Johnd123 00:50, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

You might be the right person, but first you have understand wikipedia better. It's not about expanding knowledge, it's about collecting and disseminating knowledge. If you find a book about doing color exercises, that's a good source you can use to make your points. But without a source, your contributions will likely not last; that's how wikipedia works. Dicklyon 04:53, 31 May 2007 (UTC)

Color preferences

I am somewhat unhappy that this section was removed as "content-free". I was actually coming to this article for information about the psychology of color preferences, and didn't find anything here. I spent a fair amount of time searching for statistics on people's favorite colors, and the uncontrolled study I referenced was the best I could do. I'm curious whether there's a cross-cultural preference for blues and greens, and if this is related to habitat selection. There are lots of encyclopedic things to say about the use of color in say, consumer marketing, and I was trying to get the ball rolling. -- Beland 15:14, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

The psychology of colour preferences is a subjective area and could encourage people to add to the article material that was non-encyclopedic. As with print encyclopedias, the Wikipedia article Color tends to concentrate on the physics of colour, as this lends itself to verifiable statements rather than expressions of personal preference.--Ianmacm 16:03, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
Surveys which objectively determine how many people express a given subjective preference are quite verifyable, and the information they produce is interesting and encyclopedic. -- Beland 18:49, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I removed it. I'm not necessarily totally against such a section, but I don't want to see the ball gotten rolling with a totally uncontrolled study. Add something encyclopedic, with good refs, to set a sensible expectation of what the section is about, or don't start. Dicklyon 21:08, 25 April 2007 (UTC)
What if that is the best data available? Do you have any pointers to any better data? -- Beland 18:46, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
You're the one who said reliable survey data is available. So find it. If that's the best available, let's leave it out. Dicklyon 18:52, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
I did not say that reliable data was available; I have already done my search, and what I posted was the best that I found. What would be the value in censoring it? It was the best answer I could find to a fairly basic question. We don't seem to have any problem reporting medical researches that only preliminarily establishes facts, as long as we characterize it accurately. -- Beland 23:32, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
OK, I take it back. You said verifyable, interesting, and encyclopedic. But what you found was not really that, as it was uncontrolled and therefore not very interesting or encyclopedic. Dicklyon 23:54, 29 April 2007 (UTC)
Well, I found it interesting and thought it was encyclopedic. What do other people think? -- Beland 00:14, 30 April 2007 (UTC)

This link [1] gives some data about the most popular car colours, but to be honest I think that this type of information is outside the scope of the article.--Ianmacm 19:30, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

Cool! I will add that to the article that has car production statistics. -- Beland 23:32, 29 April 2007 (UTC)

White is not a color?

An anonymous editor says "white is not a color". I have to ask then: what do you call the perceptual dimension along which you distinguish a white car from a red car? Next time I go buy a white car, should I ignore the color chart and ask for their most highly reflective car? or what? Dicklyon 14:17, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Their most highly reflective car would be one coated in shiny aluminum, no? I agree with you: in this context, white is a color. Doops | talk 14:47, 14 May 2007 (UTC)

Interesting. Of course white is a color; it is the color created when the colors of the light spectrum are combined. Black is much closer to being a lack of color than white, since it doesn't have to exist in a material body; it can be the color of "nothing". But even black, when it does exist in a material body (like your car example), is a color. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:35, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

I'd like to know more about this issue as well. My father has always insisted that white and black are not colours (something I'm inclined to disagree with, but have never been able to win an argument with him about it). Is there any compelling argument from colour science that would decide this either way? Wardog (talk) 18:07, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
It depends on how you look at it. An Additive color expert would say no. A Subtractive color guru would say yes. Wrad (talk) 18:11, 15 February 2008 (UTC)
It it because if you add all the colours you get white. I don't understand how you can debate this. DarkestMoonlight (talk) 16:12, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
That's just for additive color, not subtractive color. Wrad (talk) 16:27, 4 April 2008 (UTC)
Is white a color? Absolutely. Many perceive that white is not a color because they see it as a lack of existence, an empty space. However, white is merely a mixture of all colors. Just as red and blue make purple, when you mix all colors together you see white. There are actual white colored light rays penetrating our eyes the exact same way that any other color operates. One thing I will say though, is that black is most definitely not a color. It is what our brain perceives when there are no light rays visible. Unlike white, there are no physical waves of light passing through our eyes. Now additive and subtractive colors models define black and white completely differently, the fact that our eyes operate on an additive color model means that for general purposes white is a color and black is not. Bvlax2005 (talk) 04:50, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I would use the definition that colors are subjective perceptions of nerve signals brought on by light with certain spectral power distributions entering the human eye. That means that black is a color and white and purple also. White is a mix of spectral "colors" and purple is a mix of spectral "colors", black is just a mix where the ingredients are indiscernible. If you use the definition that colors are the (spectral) colors of the rainbow, then white, black, brown, purple, pink, beige etc are not colors. I can't come up with any other useful definitions than these.--Thorseth (talk) 12:05, 27 January 2009 (UTC)

WHERE are the sources?

This article is badly in need of some citations. A reader cannot currently tell that most of the article isn't OR. Perhaps a warning template is due. Pusher robot 04:07, 19 May 2007 (UTC)

Linguistics of Colours

What linguistic / word classification do colours have? In some ways they seem like they should be nouns, in other ways, adjectives. Is "Green" or "Blue" (etc.) a noun or an adjective or something else?

Thanks. Sharon

Assigning abstract words to grammatical categories isn't very useful. Use the words in a sentence, on the other hand, and their function therein will answer your question for you -- if I say "the green chair is uncomfortable", for example, it's clearly an adjective there, right? Doops | talk 18:45, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
This is a bit off-topic, but Merriam-Webster Online [2] gives colours as adjectives, and it is hard to disagree with this.--Ianmacm 18:52, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
To be fair, though, we do say things like "green is my favorite color" when we wouldn't say things like "happy is my favorite emotion" (we'd say "happiness"). So we do use color names as nouns more readily than other adjectives. Doops | talk 19:05, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
Actually, Merriam-Webster Online gives them as both adjectives and nouns. For example, in the green entry that you point to, go to the noun section and you'll see that the first meaning they give for the noun green is "a color whose hue is...". Similarly for other colours. --Zundark 20:45, 27 May 2007 (UTC)
When a word like green is applied to an object, for example, a green door, it is being used as an adjective. However, colours can also be seen as nouns if they are not used in conjunction with other words.--Ianmacm 21:07, 27 May 2007 (UTC)

Color vision

Could link this article to [color vision] which the color perception section here has similiarities to. Rod57 09:33, 5 June 2007 (UTC)

Sunset Pic

Completely unnecessary in context, looks to me like a grade-schooler trying to "get noticed". I'll delete it soon unless there is an objection. -- 23:00, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

I tend to agree here, it is not adding a great deal to the article.--Ianmacm 06:48, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

I removed the picture after no-one objected. It is still on Wikimedia Commons at [3]. --Ianmacm 08:11, 24 June 2007 (UTC)

Why do anons keep changing violet to purple?

How hard can it be to understand that violet is the color of the shortest wavelengths of visible light, and that purple is not a spectral color? Some IP users keep changing the table, and I missed one such a few days back. I need help watching out for this. Dicklyon 07:02, 19 June 2007 (UTC)

If something keeps happening like that, place a hidden comment on the page - that's what they're good for. If the anons keep changing it, use a {{uw:idiot}} on their talk page. Richard001 04:43, 6 July 2007 (UTC)
Like this: Template:Uw:idiot? Doesn't seem to work? Dicklyon 05:45, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

May be important to mention that purple is a name created by Crayola? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:12, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

I didn't know Crayola was that old. Dicklyon 03:20, 4 October 2007 (UTC)
It's even older than that, ca. 1400–400 B.C., in fact — "And the Lord spake unto Moses...this is the offering ye shall take, gold, silver, blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen" (Exodus 25:1-4)!  JGHowes  talk 13:58, 12 November 2008 (UTC)
That's a translation of Hebrew though, that mention of "purple" would only be about ca. AD 1604 (King James version). Still older than Crayola though :) BocoROTH (talk) 09:02, 21 February 2009 (UTC)

Maybe it will help to mention that the visible colors with wavelengths smaller than blue are shown as purple on your RGB screen, like in the images where all the violets are displayed as purples. Huisma55 (talk) 14:39, 28 December 2007 (UTC)

Cyan as a spectral color

I reverted a removal of 'cyan as spectral color', but was prompted reverted by User:Dicklyon. See the total edit change. Edit comment indicates that both removers believe that cyan is not a spectral color and the chart does not show it.

Remember that an image encoded in RGB can never show you what we actually see in real life. If you actually take a spectroscope and look at a white light (I just looked at sunlight again with one again), you will actually see a small, distinct blue-green band right between blue and green, much like you see an even smaller, distinct yellow band between green and red. The blue-green band is not as 'distinct' as the yellow band, but it is clearly there.

This blue-green or greenish-blue color is often referred to as cyan in literature. It is true that this color is not identified by Berlin and Kay (1969) as one of the most basic color names in languages across the world, but some authors do include it in their discussion (e.g. Roger Shepard in Byrne, Alex; Hilbert, D.S. (1997). Readings on Color, Volume 2: The Science of Color, 2nd ed., Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT Press). Search for 'cyan', 'opponent' or 'hue cancelation' in Light and the Eye by Bruce MacEvoy and Opponent functions.

The band we see as blue-green (cyan) in the spectrum is located between 490nm-495nm. This is basically the cross-over point of the y/b curve in opponent process, much like yellow is the cross-over point of the r/g curve. It is a real, spectral color. Fred Hsu 11:56, 28 June 2007 (UTC)

Actually, it's NOT the y/b opponent crossover color; it's quite on the blue side. y/b is pretty much orthogonal to r/g, but cyan is 120 degrees from yellow, so they don't line up that way at all. My argument is though is more about whether to dignify the name cyan as a spectral color, or to use "blue-green" or omit it altogether, as many descriptions of spectral colors do. Dicklyon 00:28, 30 June 2007 (UTC)
I would certainly tend to give the colour cyan some emphasis, especially as TV and monitor displays (and even human vision generally) reduces the saturation of cyan to a less pure depth. For an example of how pure cyan should look, try the "Eclipse of Mars" illusion at this site. Just because cyan eats up only a small band of the spectrum, that doesn't mean it's necessarily less important than yellow or magenta from a perspective of human qualitative experience. --Skytopia 20:05, 26 October 2007 (UTC)
Can you find any source that suggests that cyan is perceptually important like yellow? Or that cyan "eats up a small band of the spectrum"? Or that anyone considers it to be a spectral color? Dicklyon 00:49, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
On this general subject, I notice that the table of spectral colours in the article has a gap at 485-500 nm (600-620 THz). I'm not much bothered about whether the table lists cyan or not, but creating a hole in the spectrum just to avoid listing it strikes me as pretty silly. --Zundark 12:08, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
Indeed, I spent some time searching for good numbers for that table last night, as I had also noticed the hole, from when cyan used to be in the table. I don't recall if I took it out, or someone else did. I found lots of books that list the six color with wavelength ranges, but none matching the rest of the numbers very well, and none that I felt I could support as a great reliable source. And yes, some books also do list cyan as a spectral color. I think we probably need to say that it's sometimes broken out as a spectral color, and sometimes not. Like yellow, it has a very narrow wavelength range, like the numbers that Fred mentions. But what we really need now are some good sources to use in the table, one way or the other. Dicklyon 14:58, 28 June 2007 (UTC)
An 1892 view of spectral colors

If you go back and look in old books, cyan is not much used as a color. Its early uses are in "cyan-blue", a blue between blue-green and blue. Later, it gets identified with blue-green. Only in relatively recent times have we adopted "cyan" as the name for the "process blue" subtractive primary. Many sources still omit it, or use blue-green, when enumerating spectral colors; for example, R.W.G. Hunt's classic The Reproduction of Color lists blue-green in the spectral description on p.4 (of the 6th ed.), and reserves "cyan" for printing discussions. Dicklyon 00:25, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

OK, I picked a more modern ref that had the wavelength numbers for 6 colors rounded to 10 nm (in a graph), and updated the table to match, along with similarly rounded frequencies. If anyone prefers some other better source, feel free, but let's not change it in a way that's unsourced please. Dicklyon 18:37, 2 July 2007 (UTC)
I would eventually like to make that chart into an SVG image, or similar, showing a gradient as close as possible to the spectrum, with the wavelength ranges listed indicated graphically on it—instead of the current picture, which picks fairly arbitrary single colors for "red", "green", etc. --jacobolus (t) 04:22, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
For that matter, it might be nice to list extra-spectral hues on the chart as well, with the range of wavelengths of their complements. --jacobolus (t) 04:25, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
What source are you working from on this? I can't quite picture what you mean. Dicklyon 05:08, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Hmm, I was looking at a couple of tables in a couple of google book search results a few weeks ago, but I can't find them now. I'll look again in a few days. The idea is to include extra-spectral hues in the table, but as they don't have a wavelength corresponding to a spectral color, instead the wavelength of a complementary spectral color is listed (with the distinction clearly labeled). --jacobolus (t) 06:46, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Add a list to requested article Dots (toy)

If my requested article Dots (toy) gets created, can someone add a color list? (they can be found on the site) Wanna see it? Then go see User:Superjustinbros./Requested Articles. I want actual colors being shown. (like on the list of colors) Superjustinbros. 21:58, 30 June 2007 (UTC)

info request

opposing colors: red+blue, etc, colors that are on opposing sides of the color chart which are the most annoying combination to read. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:14, 17 September 2007 (UTC)


Should the association with holidays also be mentioned? I mean orange/black for Halloween and red/green for Christmas and so on... Valerius Myotis 13:10, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

I wouldn't mention it on this page, but it might be relevant on the pages for orange, green, etc. Also, you might want to not mark new talk topics as minor edits :). --jacobolus (t) 13:38, 9 October 2007 (UTC)

Identical Colors

There are no sources in the subsection "Relation to Spectral Colors", and the facts presented regarding identical colors are inconsistent.

Most light sources are mixtures of various wavelengths of light. However, many such sources can still have a spectral color insofar as the eye cannot distinguish them from monochromatic sources.

... Two different light spectra which have the same effect on the three color receptors in the human eye will be perceived as the same color. ... No mixture of colors, though, can produce a fully pure color perceived as completely identical to a spectral color, although one can get very close for the longer wavelengths, where the chromaticity diagram above has a nearly straight edge.

-- HUH? If the eye can not distinguish one light source from another, wouldn't those sources be perceived as identical? I would think one could in principal look at the cone response to a particular pure color, then solve the response curves of the cones for other specified colors to find the right levels of those colors to cause the same response, at least in some cases, but I have no source for this. Perhaps in reality the light reaching the eye can not be controlled well enough for this, given background light and so on, but the general statements here are inconsistent. Timmeh2 20:07, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Yeah, that's a bit unclearly written. Many mixtures appear to be of the same hue as a spectral color. But a spectral color will always look more colorful than a mixture of same apparent hue (in some cases the mixture can get pretty close). When it says two light spectra which have the same cone response are perceived as the same color, these "spectra" refer to mixtures of various wavelengths of light. So there's not really any contradiction. But some better pictures and clearer explanation would help avoid any confusion. --jacobolus (t) 20:18, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
True, it's unclear. I know I worked on that bit at one point, so some of that may be my fault. Let's consider to apparently contradictory bits:
  • "many such sources can still have a spectral color insofar as the eye cannot distinguish them from monochromatic sources"
This is absolutely true. Even though there may be small chromaticity differences, the eye's ability to distinguish small differences is limited, so this will true for some mixtures compared to monochromatic.
  • "Two different light spectra which have the same effect on the three color receptors in the human eye will be perceived as the same color"
This is a fundamental tenet of the tri-stimulus theory of color perception; it might not quite be true at low levels where the rods can be excited to an extent that is somewhat independent, by manipulating spectra, but probably it's acceptable as true enough.
  • No mixture of colors, though, can produce a fully pure color perceived as completely identical to a spectral color, although one can get very close for the longer wavelengths, where the chromaticity diagram above has a nearly straight edge.
This is dicey, seeming to rely on a presumed ability of our perceptual system to see a difference between things with infinitesimally different tri-stimulus values. Probably we should fix it, or clarify that it referred to chromaticity, not perception.
Dicklyon 21:35, 13 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree with Dicklyon. If our eyes could distinguish between any two different colors (i.e. different tristimulus values), then only a monochromatic source could cause us to percieve a monochromatic color. But since two colors can be so close as to be indistinguishable, we may be unable to distinguish between a monochromatic source and one that is almost monochromatic.
It may help to look at the CIE chromaticity diagram. If you pick two colors, then every mixture of those colors will lie on a straight line between those colors. The monochromatic colors are on the curved portion of the gamut, but not the straight line on the lower right part of the gamut. You can see that there are no two colors which have a monochromatic color on a straight line between them, because of the convexity of the curved boundary of the gamut. But all colors within a MacAdam ellipse centered on a monochromatic color will appear the same as the monochromatic color. As far as their spectra are concerned, these colors will be "almost monochromatic", with most of their energy concentrated at or near the monochromatic wavelength. PAR 20:58, 26 October 2007 (UTC)

Young's theory: how to specify the three lights?

A point about this passage, addressed to Dicklyon:

In 1801 Thomas Young proposed his trichromatic theory, based on the observation that any color could be matched with a combination of three lights.

I had wanted three single-wavelength lights, after you had quite reasonably taken out my monochromatic. But you removed single-wavelength also, with this comment:

No, it works with any three reasonably colorful lights.

I had said this:

"...three single-wavelength lights"; their being single-wavelength lights is the whole point; ANY colour could be matched by just ONE well-chosen MULTI-wavelength light, agreed?)

OK. It seems to me that we've both been a bit careless. Let's take a few steps back. I assume we agree on these points, concerning normal normal human colour vision:

  1. Some three-light sets are sufficient to produce all colours, by differentially varying the intensities of the three lights.
  2. Not all such sets are sufficient, since for example:

    A. some sets do not have a broad enough spread in the wavelengths that make up their three lights (the three might have only wavelengths clustered at the long-wave end of the visible spectrum, for example, so no resultant light could differentially stimulate the short-wave cones enough); or

    B. the wavelengths that the three lights jointly cover are not well distributed among the three lights (all three might have equal representation at the long-wave extreme and the short-wave extreme, etc.).

  3. Some, but not all, of the sufficient three-light sets are three-single-wavelength sets.
  4. Lights that are metamerically equivalent are perfectly interchangeable in their roles in such sets.

Agreed? Well then:

  1. my implied restriction to single-wavelength sets was misleading, along with my justification of it; and
  2. your any three reasonably colorful lights was too permissive, in your justification of the text as it stands; and
  3. the text as it now stands is vague and inadequate, as it seems the great majority of accounts of Young's theory and experiments are also.

I have to go offline right now, so I will not offer a new formulation yet. But I'd be interested to see what you make of all this, and to discuss a new wording – preferably backed up with a reference or two. This would be quite an enhancement of the article, I think, and would distinguish it even more from the poor treatments this topic gets elsewhere. (The article's looking great, overall.)

– Noetica♬♩Talk 08:59, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

Noetica, actually, you're right, we've both been a bit careless, and the way to resolve it is to go back and find a source for what Young actually said. It was a slip when I said any three reasonably colorful lights. I think it's badly misrepresented here still, and neither your change nor my revert helped it. To start with, the first thing you said we probably both agree on is false:

1. Some three-light sets are sufficient to produce all colours, by differentially varying the intensities of the three lights.

In fact, it's easy to show that no such set of three lights exists, monochromatic or otherwise; but Young may not have known that; I'm pretty sure it was Maxwell who clarified that. In any case, the gamut that can be covered, bound by the convex hull (triangle) of the primaries in chromaticity space, is slightly bigger for monochromatic than for non-monochromatic primaries, but that's small potatoes compared to getting the main idea right.
If memory serves, what Young actually postulated was that color perception was served by three different types of receptors or nerves. I don't recall that he claimed all colors could be made by mixing three; that's a common simplification of the theory, but it's not right; it would be interesting to find where it originated.
Here is a good place to look to follow up and find a source to correct all this.
Dicklyon 15:33, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Hi Guys, I've been a bit MIA from wikipedia lately (real life interferes again!), but another suggestion is to look in Steve Palmer's 1999 textbook, Vision Science, as he spends a fair bit of time trying to get the history right, as he wants to use this as an example of how sometimes, in a theoretical debate, both sides can be right. I would just go look it up myself, but it's packed away in storage. Another possible place to look would be in Brian Wandell's book, who is first and foremost a color vision scientist [4]. Edhubbard 17:23, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Good ideas; I have those, but my library is in boxes at the moment, from an incomplete office move. Dicklyon 18:32, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Interesting! I'll do what research I can on this also. I too have some relevant books inaccessible to me, for a little while. So no set of three lights is sufficient to produce every colour (=every tristimulus value)? That does sound familiar, now that you say it. What is the easy demonstration of this? Some of these refinements to and fro should be in the article, I think: especially if they counter common misconceptions.
– Noetica♬♩Talk 20:11, 27 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, it has to be shown by psychophysical experiments that chromaticity space is not triangular. Any chromaticity in the convex hull of mixed lights can be attained, and with three lights that's a triangle. Maxwell did enough careful measurements to show it, as did Abney later, and the CIE guys in 1931. That ref also says any color can be matched in hue, which is correct, whether the primaries by monochromatic or not, as long as the triangle sufficiently encloses neutral chromaticity. Dicklyon 21:25, 27 October 2007 (UTC)

"...the eye tends to compensate by seeing any grey or neutral color as the color which is missing from the color wheel." Not possible, as the eye qua eye is merely a reflector. Our processing systems filter and interpret the information the eye gives us, which may, pending further investigation, lead us to think we are seeing a color we are not. The eye is not the culprit in this case, the brain is. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:43, 6 November 2007 (UTC)

Sorry unsigned, but here you are merely demonstrating your lack of knowledge of the complex circuitry in the eye, including lateral connectivity, gap junctions, and pooling across populations of neurons. The eye is in fact, already a very complex information processing device. For example, see the work by E.J. Chichilnisky which explores exactly these type of visual phenomena and how they arise from retinal (and subsequent cortical) interactions. Edhubbard 17:29, 7 November 2007 (UTC)

Definition of shade

A shade is also a colour made by adding the opposite colour (complementary colour) on a colour wheel because if you add colours opposite each other on the colour wheel you get black (Because you are adding all the primaries together) so if you add the colour's complementary you bring the colour closer to black = darker = A shade. Q.E.D So as you can see, anyone who puts thought into this can easily see how a shade is also a colour made by adding the complementary colour in addition to adding black. I have edited the page so that those who aren't thinking hard about what they read will get all the information. M994301009 (talk) 01:41, 6 December 2007 (UTC)

Your change confuses the quite clear definition of shade given, and the result is misleading. While in particular cases, mixing two complementary paints can result in a dark mixture, that is not the general result, and in general a mixture of the kind you suggest is at any particular lightness much less colorful than a mixture of the color with black paint, a “shade” as defined here. For a very detailed explanation of color mixing (specifically w.r.t. watercolor paints), and how it relates to color wheels, see here. --jacobolus (t) 07:42, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Actually Adding two complementary colours always makes a darker mixture and I have been told on multiple occasions by highly skilled artists that this makes a "richer, more eye pleasing" colour than by simply adding black. M994301009 (talk) 23:56, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
It still needs a ref. I think it shouldn't be too hard to find one. Just google it. Wrad (talk) 23:58, 6 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, if by "richer" you mean less colorful, then sure. --jacobolus (t) 02:46, 7 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, only if by "Less colourful" you mean nicer, better looking, not a dead colour, a colour preffered by artists worldwide, and a colour that is superior to a colour made by adding black in every form, then yes I do mean "Less colourful" when I say richer. By the way, the spelling is colour not color :) M994301009 (talk) 03:15, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Not trying to be snarky, but I suggest you try the following experiment: Find two roughly complementary paints. Maybe purplish-blue and yellow, or green and magenta. Now try mixing them together in different proportions, and then try mixing each one with black. Paint spots of these mixtures on a piece of paper. After you've done that, take a photograph of the result, and for bonus points, explain how it graphically contradicts the argument you've been making here.  :) --jacobolus (t) 03:24, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
In America it is spelled "color". In Britain, it is spelled "colour". Both are right. Please just provide a ref and stop being condescending. That's all you need to do to convince us, is to provide a reliable source. Wrad (talk) 03:35, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, the real problem here, w.r.t. finding sources, is that these terms (tint, shade, tone, hue, value, color, etc.) are all used by different sources with different meanings, and often used generically as synonyms for “color.” But, as examples of the definitions currently stated in this article: “tint, shade, tone: / hue + white = tint / hue + black = shade / hue + black + white = tone ...” from Cartography: Thematic Map Design - Page 323, or Decorative Painting & Faux Finishes: “The more white, the lighter and paler the tint. Very light colors are called pastels. Add black, and the color becomes a shade.” or even, from Information Design: An Introduction - Page 126, “A mix of a pure hue and white gives a tint. A mix of a pure hue and black gives a shade.” Anyway though, I'd be perfectly happy to see different definitions used, as long as we keep them consistent throughout wikipedia, and it would even be nice to do some research about relative prevalence of various definitions for terms, which could be explained in informative notes.
As for M994301009: you are confusing an idealized model with reality. Surface colors absorb some wavelengths, and reflect others. In a simplified model, the mixture of two complementary colors absorbs all light, reflecting none. In reality, the mixture of two brightly colored roughly complementary paints usually results in some sort of dark greyish color, absorbing much less light than a region painted "black". In CMYK printing, for example, black ink is added both because it is cheaper and dries faster than 100% mixtures of C, M, and Y inks, but also because mixing these primaries doesn't result in a very rich or satisfying "black". But that aside, even if we were to accept your clarification of the definition of shade as "true", it wouldn't be a useful distinction to make; the adjustment is a trivial corollary of the simplified model in which "primary" colors mix to black, and mentioning it here confuses rather than enhances the definition. Finally, the statement “adding two complementary colours always makes a darker mixture [than mixing with black]” is demonstrably false. --jacobolus (t) 08:23, 8 December 2007 (UTC)
I didn't mean mix 2 complementary colours to make black, I said use them to make a shade. M994301009 (talk) 19:58, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
This is why sites like "wikitruth" exist, someone trys to help, and this is what happens. As it is, I'm going to stop editing wikipedia and try to become a developer once I get a new computer. M994301009 (talk) 00:29, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Well, I don't know how that would help you, there's always going to be someone who disagrees with you. Sources are pretty important, and without them, your case is pretty flat. Sorry, but that's just the way things are. Wrad (talk) 00:33, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
What I meant by that was that I would contribute to wikipedia through software development and thus not have to worry about sourcing a fact I can prove in under 5 sentences. By the way, my comment about the spelling of colour was a joke, did you notice the :) ? But since you brought it up, English was invented by the British, so I always use their spelling when I can. M994301009 (talk) 19:53, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

How about this guys, we redefine shade to be "a colour made darker than the original, usually by adding black" (Or something like that) this leaves it open to other options too. M994301009 (talk) 19:56, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

Biological colouration

We don't presently have an article on biological colouration. Nobody has gotten around to writing one. We only have animal colouration, which is mainly an old Britannica article. But when (hopefully not if) we do, should this article include a short summary of it? I haven't seen biological colouration discussed in articles on the subject (e.g. the current Britannica article on the subject), but should we not? Isn't it relevant as an aspect of colour? Richard001 (talk) 04:06, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Go for it. The article on Green has some things to get you started. Wrad (talk) 04:08, 9 January 2008 (UTC)

Spelling again (recent edits)

Hi, users Jimqbob and YAKNOWDOUGAL! are being very insistent on changing parts of the article's spelling to Commonwealth (against WP:ENGVAR), despite the fact that the issue has been discussed at length. I am hesitant to undo the most recent edit (212311609) because of WP:3RR. I do not want this to turn into a renewed discussion (as this is not the place for it), and am only asking people to help maintain consistency. --Stomme (talk) 10:08, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

I reverted again. Both users are now warned a last time.
/ Raven in Orbit (talk) 10:50, 14 May 2008 (UTC)

Is this an appropriate external link for this article?

Pseudocolor in Pure and Applied Mathematics If yes, than an editor with more experience with this article than me could add the link in an appropriate section. Doug youvan (talk) 15:11, 20 May 2008 (UTC)

Biochrome, schemochrome

Chromatophore refers to "biochrome" and "schemochrome". Neither term appears in this article; could someone please add them where they belong? --Una Smith (talk) 05:58, 4 June 2008 (UTC)

What makes you think they belong? Maybe someone just made up those funny terms. (that is, they're unsourced; go get us a clue) Dicklyon (talk) 07:05, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
They are fancy words for pigment and structural color, both of biological origin. --Una Smith (talk) 14:25, 4 June 2008 (UTC)
  • here: "Any one of many colourless, submicroscopic structures in organisms that serve as a source of colour by the manner in which they reflect light. Among those physical structures in organisms that fractionate light into its component colours are ridges, striations, facets, successive layers, and multiple fine, randomly dispersed light-scattering bodies."
  • here: "colours of physical origin are called schemochromes"
  • here: "It is easy to distinguish between a biochrome and a schemochrome: the former can be isolated by chemical means, the latter cannot."

Colorful reflections upon water - picture

This picture is reasonably nice, but it is not adding much to an understanding of the subject. The colouring pencils are much better and a featured picture. I vote to lose the "reflections" picture. --♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 18:04, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

I agree; it just makes one wonder why it's there. Dicklyon (talk) 18:24, 10 June 2008 (UTC)

Health effects

"When the color spectrum of artificial lighting is mismatched to that of sunlight, material health effects may arise" does anyone have a link to an article regarding this? The wording is particularly troublesome and I'm finding it hard to follow. Cheers RichMac (Talk) 02:13, 17 June 2008 (UTC)]

I agree and have deleted the section. Such a strong statement needs proper references. Martin Hogbin (talk) 15:30, 12 November 2008 (UTC)


This link shows the spectrum with it's wavelengths and according web-colors (sRGB). I would also like to note that to me it appears that red goes down to 610nm (sRGB-red (#ff0000) is at 611.38nm according to the table, and the german wikipedia also states that red is the color impression you perceive down to 610nm). (talk) 23:12, 19 June 2008 (UTC)

That table is nonsense. There is no way to represent the color of monochromatic light in sRGB. The division of the spectrum by wavelength is pretty arbitrary. We need to stick to reporting what we find in reliable sources. Dicklyon (talk) 14:54, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Of course you cannot represent the color of monochromatic light in sRGB. The page also says: Although the colors are as much saturated as the sRGB color space permits, the chroma is (depending on the wavelength) less intensive compared to the true spectral color (especially for cyan). (talk) 01:16, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
Yes, I see, it is not as nonsensical as I thought at first look. It is however very peculiar that they show the purplish color for the longest wavelengths; if someone would find the procedure or code that they used, I could check it and see why this happens. At this point, I have a hard time accepting it as a reliable source. Dicklyon (talk) 01:35, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
The sources for the data of the tables are noted on that page: The sRGB Standard as published on the pages of the W3C, the CIE standard colorimetric observer with angle 2° (CIE 1931) as published on the pages of the International Commission on Illuminantion, and the source code of the program used for the calculations, which also includes literature references in its comments. (talk) 02:10, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
The "purplish" color for the longest wavelength can be explained as follows: The "Red" used in sRGB is more orange than the red of the longer (and less bright) wavelengths. You can use a mixture of sRGB-red and sRGB-blue to create the same color impression in the human eye/brain that a red would create, which has a longer wavelength than sRGB-red has. You should also keep in mind, that colors might appear differently on different (non calibrated) monitors. The table is calculated assuming a monitor which is exactly following the sRGB standard. (talk) 02:24, 26 June 2008 (UTC)
You may also have a look on the discussion page of the Wavelength article. There is also some suspiciousness about the purplish red. Perhaps someone with more experience would like to merge the discussions on one page? Or I would suggest to continue this discussion on the wavelength discussion page. (talk) 09:49, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

I found another page dealing with sRGB and wavelengths: I've not read it completely, but to me it looks like it shows that red goes down to 610nm. (talk) 22:00, 27 June 2008 (UTC)

CIE 1931 xy diagram with sRGB whitepoint and primaries

If you draw a line from the D65 white point to the border of the visible colors in the diagram of the CIE 1931 color space with the sRGB gamut drawn inside, you also get approx. 610nm for the red primary of sRGB. If you don't use a source of light with a spectral line, but a source with a wider spectrum, you would probably need a longer (peak) wavelength to get red, as the wavelengths longer than 610nm cannot compensate the yellow from the shorter wavelengths (short-wavelength-red + long-wavelength-red + yellow = red + yellow = orange). (talk) 08:40, 28 June 2008 (UTC)

Spectral colors

Based on my understanding of the subject and the article 'color vision', the statement 'a light source need not actually be of one single wavelength to be perceived as a pure spectral color' in 'spectral colors' would appear to be incorrect.Martin Hogbin (talk) 10:35, 16 July 2008 (UTC)

If you look at the CIE 1931 diagram you will see that the visual gamut line from 700 to 560 nm is almost straight. That means that a laser at 560 and at 700 may be mixed to produce any color along that line, and that it will be indistinguishable from a monochrome source. To name an example. --Thorseth (talk) 14:22, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
That is a good point, although 'almost straight' presumably means that people can just tell the difference. The same applies to any closely spaced spectral colours as well. If we restore the statement, 'a light source need not actually be of one single wavelength to be perceived as a pure spectral color', we should probably add some explanation. Martin Hogbin (talk) 22:36, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
No, it doesn't mean that at all; quite the contrary, it means that the color a single wavelength can be made indistinguishable from the color of a pair of wavelengths, by making the two in the pair close enough together. There's a JND involved, you know. Expecially in the reds and oranges, you have a lot of flexibility in spectrum while still achieving a color indistinguishable from a monochromatic color. But I agree it should be explained, and sourced, if we're going to say it. Dicklyon (talk) 22:58, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Here is a book source. Dicklyon (talk) 23:01, 27 January 2009 (UTC)


Greetings! The term "colorless" redirects here (i.e., to the "Color" article, but it in fact contains no discussion or explanation of the term (which, indeed, itself appears only once in the article). This should be corrected. (talk) 19:22, 2 August 2008 (UTC)

I think the redirect is wrong. Colorless is not at question of color, but the absence of color a colorless liquid is transparent and not Black-and-white where colorless redirects to today.--Thorseth (talk) 14:13, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
colorless is now a disambiguation--Thorseth (talk) 09:28, 28 January 2009 (UTC)

Intro first sentence

Colour is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, blue and others.

Surely the "colour" is merely a common characteristic of the objects in one of those sets? That something's colour is blue is characteristic of the members of the set "blue things". I think the first sentence as it stands is incorrect. Colour is commonly understood to belong to an object (e.g. the cake is brown, i.e. a characterization of the cake includes its being brown; also I know that colour is perceived differently according to each person) and there is a way of positively describing a colour by making reference to its wavelength and other physical properties.

For the moment, deleting "to the categories called" and putting in its place "with the descriptions of objects being". Though I know a much simpler intro is possible. (talk) 00:38, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Well, I probably wrote that, a couple of years ago, so let me disagree. Color is not as "objective" as people think. It's a perceptual thing, and depends in complicated ways on the object properties, the lighting properties, and the visual system properties. Your car that's green in daylight might be black or blue or brown under sodium-vapor lamps, for exmaple. The category you label it with changes, rather than being tied to the object. It's not so easy to find good sourced definitions of color that are actually correct. Notice also the orange/brown illustration, where identical effective stimuli can lead to very different perceptions and even different category labels. If you can find a good sourced definition that makes sense, we can consider changing to use it. Dicklyon (talk) 03:54, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
In principle I agree with you---I should apologize for my vague statement :D. What I should have said is what I meant above by "object" is not a physical, unchanging thing, but rather an abstract subject* that can be talked about. For instance "car that's green in daylight" is a different "object" in the sense I used it above to the "[car that is] brown under sodium-vapor lamps" (hopefully you get the gist of what I am saying---*surely there is a word for this, but I am no scholar of English). My only issue is with using the word "categories": if it (colour) is a property then the words "red", "yellow" etc. just describe the members of the category rather than being the categories themselves. We can get into a long discussion about how by an abuse of terminology we can conflate the two, but I have no intention :D
I know I sound pedantic... in the absence of a good definition I still believe that the reference to the words of colours being categories also should be removed. (talk) 22:37, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I understand now, you don't like "categories" there. Is there another word that will do? Or how would you rewrite the sentence? You said, effectively: Colour is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans with the descriptions of objects being red, yellow, blue and others. Well, that sounds terribly awkward to me, and not clearly meaningful, but someone else can maybe take it from there and try to put it better. Or maybe Color is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to labels such as red, yellow, blue and others. Still odd; but something like that. Dicklyon (talk) 04:56, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
Your suggestion sounds better than my first one. Am I right in saying the "c." is a property which can take a specific value, and that value just happens to change the way things appear? I write inelegantly: "Colour is the visual perceptive property which admits among other values red, ... etc." I really am stumped as how to go about this. Anyway, I'm glad the misunderstanding's been removed, and perhaps someone else can join in... (talk) 08:25, 31 January 2009 (UTC)
It's hard to put a "specific value" on a perception. Of course, in colorimetry they do put numbers on color-related things, but it's not really perceptual color in that case, just a way to try to pin down the physical attributes that lead to color perception. Dicklyon (talk) 16:34, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

Different Colors

I think that all the colors are different in there own way.I say that with just plain color white is lighter than black. The only time the colors are not different is when they are the color of somebodies skin!!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:10, 14 May 2009 (UTC)

Color categorization and language

Color categorization is an interesting research area for anthropologists. Humans perceive color in a continuum with no seemly obvious natural divisions. Research by Brent Berlin and Paul Kay in the 1960's show that across 110 difference languages - there are only eleven basic color categories. Each culture has its own definition of which colors count as "basic". For example - Russian has no single word for blue. French has no single word for brown. The Dani - a local tribe in New Guinea - only have two basic colors.

Citing the source for the above: Everything is Miscellaneous: The Power of Digital Disorder by David Weinberger, Holt Paperbacks, 2007 - see page 184.

Being a doubting Thomas, I would first ask that the statement of Russian and French languages lack of color words be verified.

Second - Does anyone else agree that this might be a good section to add to the subject of color? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Greinert (talkcontribs) 16:41, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

The article already has a section on this sort of thing: Color#Color naming. We also have the articles Color term and Linguistic relativity and the color naming debate. --Zundark (talk) 18:41, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Interesting point

Where is the place for putting it?

Austerlitz -- (talk) 13:15, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Austerlitz -- (talk) 13:29, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

I've put Lily Cornford's article to wikipage Color symbolism and psychology.

Something is lacking with this color thing here. For example, there is buddhism with color symbolism, most probably Lily Cornford's article is based on Michael Faraday and on Buddhism, but: is a black Buddha a bad person, emanating all those bad qualities connected with color black in Buddhism? or within astral body aura theory?

Austerlitz —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:21, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
The article is about the physics of colour. Psychological and religious aspects etc should be dealt with in the relevant articles.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:57, 22 June 2009 (UTC)
Color Healing Therapy by Lily Cornford (1906-2003), who (in cooperation with Ronald Leech) was the founder and director of the Maitreya School of Healing in London, England
"Color is light, sound, heat, magnetism--they are all one and the same energy as was proved by Michael Faraday in 1845 by polarized light experiments. They differ only in frequency of vibration and medium of conduction. For a proper understanding of healing by color it is necessary to understand color and what it is; it is not static, it is a live, vibrating energy; it is light at varying rates of vibration."
According to those words of Lily Cornford -which, as far as I know-, are true, color is a most complete phenomenon. I'd like to insert this expression of knowledge into the article. Judging from your above categorization, there is no place for the quotation fitting those narrow categories of yours, right? So: where to put it?
Austerlitz -- (talk) 07:52, 3 July 2009 (UTC)
Actually no. Lilly Cornford's understanding is pretty bad if this quote is a reflection of it. Color is an aspect of certain ranges of electromagnetic radiation, specifically, those with wavelengths between about 300 and 700 nm (see electromagnetic spectrum. Some light is colored, but color is not light. To reorder these things in the way that Lilly Cornford does completely reverses the sub-set relations. Similarly, although heat is also a form of EM radiation (see infrared radiation, it is in a completely different range, and so it is non-sense to say that color is heat. Both color and heat are examples of EM radiation, but to confuse these two is like saying that, because we are related, I am my sister. It's simply wrong. As for sound... that's the worst of all. Sound is a sort of mechanical vibration, which requires some physical medium to carry it ("In space, no one can hear you scream") while color, and EM radiation more generally, are self-propagating, and therefore require no medium. Lilly Cornford's mis-understandings of these things have no place in the article. Edhubbard (talk) 15:01, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

This Article Lacks a Knowledgeable Intro

"Color or colour (see spelling differences) is the visual perceptual property corresponding in humans to the categories called red, yellow, blue and others. Color derives from the spectrum of light (distribution of light energy versus wavelength) interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors."

1) Color is not unique to humans.
2) "and others"...seriously?
3) Color does not derive from the spectrum of light and the parenthetical statement does not enhance that statement, it just continues the point...use different grammar.
3B) Color is a perception of the spectrum of light.
3C) "spectrum of light" should be "spectrum of energy"...even further, "the frequency range activating the cone receptors of the eye."

Reasons: rod receptors don't perceive color, yet, they are still are "light" receptors...light interacts WITH the verses wavelength is a constant (E = hf...E = h/wavelength).

If someone feels up to editing this page please incorporate these comments. I've already exhausted my gusto before I could even finish knocking the first two sentences of this page. That being said, because this is a community contribution, it should be noted that I am only knocking the first two lines of this page and nothing else. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:16, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

I disagree with your first point, in that I think you misread the line. The article isn't claiming it's unique to humans, it's saying that in humans, it is defined in this way. Other animals won't perceive the same spectrum range, and even if it overlaps with human ranges, it probably doesn't look the same to them. Something of a philosophical point I'll admit.
That said, I agree with your other points, but I lack the time to try and fix it well. I may try again (if no one beats me to it) on Monday, when I get back from a trip. --ShadowRanger (talk|stalk) 19:24, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps the wording of the intro could be better, but I'm not sure what knowledge is missing. 2) What do you suggest? We can't list them all. 3) You have to read the whole sentence, if you stop at the parenthesis it makes no sense. If the sentence is formed badly, please make a suggestion as to how it could be made better. 3B) The definition of color in the article is a very cautious one, using one with less subtlety will requirer more discussion. 3C) The point that color originates from light and not any old energy is rather important I think. If you have a source to back up the claim that color perception is not aided by lightness sensitive rods, for instance to determine if a object is brown or orange, then lets use your definition, if not then I suspect it may be too narrow. The energy you mention is for one photon, how that is relevant here?--Thorseth (talk) 22:51, 12 December 2009 (UTC)
I agree it's an awkward lead, and probably it's at least partly my wording. I'm not sure I agree it's wrong, and I'm not sure I agree that going into more details about cones will make it any better, but I'm open to suggestions. The complaint "Color does not derive from the spectrum of light" misses the point that the sentence says "Color derives from the spectrum of light (...) interacting in the eye with the spectral sensitivities of the light receptors." I would agree that the parenthetical makes it harder to understand, not easier. The point of the sentence seems clear to me, and is designed to accommodate how the same spectra might be perceived differently by humans of normal color vision, by various animals, by humans of various color blindnesses, etc. There's no need to exclude rods at this point, as they do indeed play a role in color perception (as in the Purkinje effect). Dicklyon (talk) 23:06, 12 December 2009 (UTC)


why cant i edit this page? (talk) 00:55, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

The page is semi-protected (see the little lock icon in the upper right hand corner of the article?). There was a flurry of vandalism from IPs, so IP users and newly created accounts can't edit the page. An auto-confirmed user can though. So either you can create an account, post your proposed change here and allow another editor to apply it, or, if you're really patient and don't want to let us know the desired change, wait until the semi-protection expires in March. :-) —ShadowRanger (talk|stalk) 01:03, 11 December 2009 (UTC)


Great article, zero references. A dream come true, 4 years ago...ResMar 00:52, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

There are eight references, but some sections including Spectral colors and color reproduction are unreferenced, which is a bit of a worry. Some work may be needed in this area.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 08:19, 1 January 2010 (UTC)

Colors in astronomy

Was going to add this link, Photometric system, but not sure where to added it. Astronomy refers to the color a little differently. Thanks Marasama (talk) 19:44, 4 January 2010 (UTC)

"And others." What the heck?

Okay, you could have at least either listed the other colors, or provided a link to show what the other colors were. Other than that, your article is great!!--Fibbleflabble (talk) 02:19, 5 March 2010 (UTC)FlibbleFlabble

HTML comment

The HTML comment at the top of the article says to see the talk page if you want to comment. The talk page, however, says to use the village pump. We need discussion here about changing the HTML comment to saying to use the village pump. Georgia guy (talk) 19:32, 13 April 2010 (UTC)


Why don't we use "colour"? British English is the original English. --Dgfjhfcgxdg (talk) 03:32, 28 February 2010 (UTC)

See the talk header at the start of this page, and also WP:ENGVAR. PaleAqua (talk) 07:22, 28 February 2010 (UTC)
Color is derived from the Latin spelling, as are several other /-or/ words, the extra "u" is a silent and redundant vowel that doesn't really belong, but that's just my opinion. Pyro721 (talk) 04:46, May 14th, 2010 (UTC)
This says that colour is the common English word for it. I say it should be changed - as color is only used in the USA (major countries) - in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, the UK and Ireland, colour is more common than color; in the US, colour is more common. Clyde1998 (talk · contribs)
Again: See the talk header at the start of this page, and also WP:ENGVAR. PAR (talk) 19:31, 6 June 2010 (UTC)

The convention when dealing with matters of color on wikipedia is to use the american form, as seen in the following examples:

Color theory


List of colors

Color mixing

Subtractive color

Color motion picture film


Please discuss the matter in the appropriate place --Thorseth (talk) 07:27, 8 June 2010 (UTC)

the same color illusion illustration

"The upper disk and the lower disk have exactly the same objective color, and are in identical gray surrounds...."

The upper disk has a dark gray surround and the lower disk has a light gray surround. Though the illusion holds, the description is inaccurate. (talk) 19:47, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Fooled ya! Take a closer look: the gray squares behind the orange/brown circles are also identical. If you don’t believe it, load up the image in your favorite image editor, and copy one square next to the other. –jacobolus (t) 20:00, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
(It is true that the word “surround” is slightly ambiguous. The area around the top circle/square is much lighter than the area around the bottom circle/square – the reason (along with inferences about the 3d geometry & lighting) for the illusion.) –jacobolus (t) 20:02, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Why should the spelling of colour be color?

Color is the American English Spelling of colour. Colour is the spelling of it in Standard English.Why are we not using the Standard Spellings of the words. The English Language orginates from the Kingdom of England which is know part of The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, so we should have authority on what spellings our words have. This is my opinion and you don't have to agree, but I think most people should.

See the infobox at the top of the talk page.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 20:10, 18 July 2010 (UTC)

I believe the in--621PWC (talk) 13:57, 9 September 2010 (UTC)formation contained within the infobox is wrong - the Wiki references cited do not justify the spelling as 'Color'. In fact, it contradicts Wikipedia style policy on the "Global View": <<Global view Except in content with a local focus or where specific localized grammar or spelling is appropriate, or when an established precedent has been established and no clear reason has been accepted by a consensus to overturn it, content should be presented from a global view without bias towards any particular culture or group.>>

The use of "color" rather than the more widely accepted International English spelling, "colour" suggests that the American view is the world view. This is totally unjustified within Wikipedia guidelines. --621PWC (talk) 20:38, 8 September 2010 (UTC)

Please read WP:ENGVAR. It is the controlling guideline concerning the spelling used in this article. VMS Mosaic (talk) 04:55, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

I did read it and I fail to see how it resolves this issue in favour/favor (!) of the American POV Vs the majority (world) view. You need to point me to a specific line that explains how the minority spelling (changed arbitrarily by Noah Webster) trumps the spelling used by an overwhelming majority of English speakers. The only relevant reference I can find is the avoidance of use of different spellings within the same article - but that is not the substantive issue here.

The relevant section is: WP:ENGVAR#Retaining_the_existing_variety. As for majority, if you look at the English language article (see especially, English_language#Geographical_distribution), you will see the statistics that show that the majority of people in the world who speak and write English as a first language speak and write American English. So, your claim about "an overwhelming majority of English speakers" is demonstrably false. Edhubbard (talk) 14:10, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

"Retaining the existing variety?" How on earth is that the controlling guideline? It would mean that the first contributor's nationality always establishes spelling precedent. If this were true, this would always allow Wikipedia Editors/Admins to justify the American POV being the World POV. And, sorry, your math is wrong. The total number of American English speakers according to that table is 215,459,521 (240,705,741 if you include Canada on the basis that it shares many US spellings) - this compares with 329,518,725 speakers of International English ... a number that is swollen if you included those who speak English as a second language in other countries outside this table - Europe and South East Asia for example). --621PWC (talk) 16:32, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Please read more carefully. The number of first language English speakers in the United States is 215,423,557 (215 million), whereas the number of first language English speakers outside the United States is 99,029,608 (99 million). The total number of English speakers listed in the table includes people in India for example, for whom English is a second or third language, and people in the Philippines, where American English is actually used, not "British" or "International" English. In any case, the number of first langauge English speakers in the United States far outweighs the rest of the world combined. Edhubbard (talk) 18:51, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
So second or third language readers are not a factor? Please. --621PWC (talk) 19:21, 9 September 2010 (UTC)
This thread has no relevance to this particular article, since it could just as easily apply to flavor, honor, neighbor etc. Please read the infobox at the top of the talk page.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:10, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Once again, the references cited in the infobox do not justify the spelling as 'Color' - therefore this thread is relevant to this article, and to any others where American spelling has been arbitrarily accepted as the World View. --621PWC (talk) 17:26, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

The spelling of an article is by convention determined by the first non-stub version. This article has been known as Color since 2001.[5] Please take this to the proper forum, which is the Village Pump, or the thread will be deleted.--♦IanMacM♦ (talk to me) 17:41, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

Will do. --621PWC (talk) 19:21, 9 September 2010 (UTC)

The amount of English speakers in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India and the former British colonies exceeds the amount of American (English) speakers. Whether or not English was the first language learned by a speaker is wholly irrelevant. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:14, 15 September 2010 (UTC)