White light is made up of all colors of light.
If an object reflects
all colors of light, then it looks white. When an
object absorbs one
color of light, say red, then all of the colors of
light are reflected
except the red light that was absorbed. Because of
the way we
perceive color, we see the reflected light as the
of the absorbed color. In this case, green.
The same effect happens when an object absorbs
green light. All of the
light except green is reflected back and the
object appears to be red
If you are interested in the way we perceive
color, I recommend
reading (or asking Scienceline) about color theory
color. The set of commonly-taught primary colors,
(RYB) is actually not the best set of primary
colors. The set of
cyan-magenta-yellow (CMY) (or for additive color,
(RGB)), which you may have seen used for computer
displays, is actually better for scientifically
describing color and
explaining how we perceive it. CMY works much like
RYB, but the
primary and secondary colors are different. The
from CMY are also slightly different, but more
what we actually see.
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