Color spectrum: what segments is it divided into and how do we see it?

Science 2023

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Color spectrum: what segments is it divided into and how do we see it?
Color spectrum: what segments is it divided into and how do we see it?

Isaac Newton, the world-famous physicist, once conducted an interesting experiment: he installed a trihedral prism in the path of an ordinary sunbeam, as a result of which it decomposed into 6 primary colors. It is worth noting that the scientist was initially able to distinguish only 5 segments from them, but then he decided that he would divide this beam by as many as seven, so that the number was equal to the number of notes. However, after this color spectrum was folded into a circle, it turned out that one of the shades needed to be removed, and blue became the victim. So until now, from a scientific point of view, there are only 6 basic tones in nature, but each of us knows, even using the example of a rainbow, that among them you can see the seventh.

Dissecting the spectrum in parts

To understand what a color spectrum is, let's try to divide it into two parts. The first will contain primary colors, the second, respectively, secondary. In the first group we will include such tones as red, yellow and blue. They are basic and, when properly combined with each other,other form all the rest. Among them, in turn, we call orange, purple and green. The first can be obtained by mixing red with yellow, the second with red with blue, and the third with yellow and blue. Against the background of all that, it becomes clear why the color spectrum has left the blue tone. You can get it simply by mixing blue with white, which already makes it a minor tone.

color spectrum

A more complex version of the spectrum

Modern scientists distinguish not 6, but 12 segments in the color spectrum. Among them there are not only primary and secondary tones, but also tertiary ones, which fill the space of the circle between the first two categories. This third group includes red-orange, yellow-orange, yellow-green, blue-green, blue-violet and red-violet. Such an expansion tells us that the color spectrum is a whole scope for various combinations that can form incredible shades. For example, blue-green in a certain consistency with white gives the most fashionable shade of the season - turquoise. And red-violet also, in combination with white paint, forms lilac, mysterious and mysterious.

what is color spectrum

Original tones

Surely you know that all the above colors are chromatic, that is, having a bright shade, fill. Along with them, there are achromatic tones, which consist of white, black and all shades of gray, from very light to extremely dark. Thanks to them, the modern color spectrum becomesmuch wider, and it is already filled with not even 12 shades, but much more. The original depicts a circle consisting of 12 segments. The composition of each of them includes another 8, or even more shades, which, as they approach the center, become lighter and lighter. This effect is achieved by mixing the original color with white. In the example that was given above, we pointed out that even the tertiary tone of the spectrum can be diluted with white and thereby changed beyond recognition.

color spectrum is

The influence of color on our lives

In order not to go into those banal demagogies that tell us about the allegedly hidden influences of a particular color on the behavior and psyche of a person, we note only briefly that warm tones seem closer to us, and cold ones, as if pressed into something are moving away from view. Thanks to this effect, you can manipulate the visual effects in the room, create profitable advertising, and perform various other operations. It is also important to note that the color spectrum can tend not only to white (as described above), but also to dark. Similarly, we can dilute any segment of the circle, both primary and tertiary, with black or any shade of gray, as a result of which they will become either richer and even brighter, or darker. This fact is also important to consider when creating various projects both in the interior and in other areas of life.

human visible color spectrum

What do we humans see?

It is generally accepted that the color spectrum visible to humans is everythingprimary, primary colors - red, blue and yellow, as well as multiple variations that are formed from them. Thus, this is a circle of tones, which does not consist of 128 segments, but much more. Our eye is able to recognize shades of different lightness, moreover, their characteristics in our understanding change depending on many external factors. From a purely scientific point of view, the red wave has the longest wavelength. Therefore, we see yellow, ocher, orange and, accordingly, all shades of red best of all. As you approach purple, all colors gradually lose their wavelength.


In fact, the color spectrum is a mystery of nature. We humans see it only partially. Even based on experiments conducted on many birds, one can be sure that they see much more shades of colors familiar to us, and at the same time their picture before their eyes is more colorful than ours.

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