Physics Textbook/Color Vision

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In the beginning of the lesson, we discussed the essential parts of the eye. We noted that the retina has special cells called rods and cones. Rods are very sensitive but cannot detect color. Cones, however, are sensitive to color and enable us to distinguish color.

Chemicals in the cones are sensitive to red, green, and blue light, the primary colors. Each cone is sensitive to a particular primary color. When a mixture of different colors of light enters the eye, we see the mixture as a single color.

Colors of objects are the result of the interaction of light with materials. The color of opaque objects is the color they reflect and which reaches our eyes. On the other hand, the colors of transparent materials are the colors they transmit. Scattering of the colors by small particles in the atmosphere gives us nature's palette of amazing colors that we see every day.