Possible Relationship Between Light (Energy) & Color

I often wondered how light (energy) is able to carry color after bouncing off an object.  For instance, how do the leaves of a tree appear green after the light bounces off them and then enters my eyes?  How does a cloud from a long distance away appear white after the light reflects off its surface and enters my eyes?  How is light (energy) able to carry information on an object's color when making contact with that object and then routing that information to my eyes where that information can then be processed into that respective color?

While in the shower (great place to think), it dawned on me that perhaps light (energy) isn't gathering information after making contact with an object and then carrying that information to my eyes for processing, but, instead is carrying less information as a result of the object absorbing a part of the light's color spectrum that, in turn, results in the remaining part of the color spectrum being absorbed in our eyes and being processed in our brain as a certain color we have come to recognize for as long as we can remember.  In other words, light actually sheds information (part of its energy spectrum) when making contact with an object with the remaining part of the light (energy) spectrum being rebounded and received by our eyes and processed into a color.

That raises many questions.  For instance, when I look at a black colored object, i.e., asphalt, could the surface be absorbing more of the spectrum, i.e., lighter colors that are outside of the darker colors, such that it becomes hotter and the color black?  When I look at a white object, i.e., concrete, is that cooler because it is absorbing darker color(s) in the spectrum and leaving the light colors to enter our eyes?  We know that light (energy) has mass.  Perhaps lighter colors carry more mass in the color spectrum than darker colors, hence, the reason objects that appear light darker are hotter and those that appear lighter are cooler.

When we go to the paint store and mix color pigments to a desired color, are we not essentially asking the pigments to retain those colors that we do not want to be absorbed to reach our eyes?  So, if I want yellow, then I'm going to mix pigments that retain undesired colors and leave the yellow part of the color spectrum of light (energy) to leave the surface of that paint and reflect to my eyes.  So, in essence, the color pigment of the paint is anything but yellow in this example.

Interesting food for thought...

Ray Marshall

Views: 890

Comment by NuMedia Concepts, LLC on November 30, 2015 at 10:53pm
One additional comment regarding the relationship between light (energy) and color. While part of the light (energy) is absorbed or reflected as color when it strikes an object, another part may pass entirely through the object, again depending on the chemical composition of the object it encounters. In essence, light (energy) may break down into various types of subparticles when it encounters other elements, i.e., color, heat, infrared, etc. More food for thought.

Ray Marshall


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