Friday, March 9, 2012

Pink's not a colour?

In a blog post, Robert Krulwich – of Radiolab – noted that there is no pink in a rainbow. Pink is a combination of red and violet, two colors, which, if you look at a rainbow, are on the opposite sides of the arc. That’s where the trouble lies. Pink can’t exist in nature without a little rainbow-bending help, which would allow the shades of red and violet to commingle. This is leading scientists to believe, as Krulwich puts it, that “pink is a made-up colour.” Krulwich explains:
I know, of course, that all colors are just waves of light, so every color we “see,” we see with our brains. But what this video says is that there is no such thing as a band of wavelengths that mix red and violet, and therefore, pink is not a real wavelength of light. That’s why pink is an invention. It’s not a name we give to something out there. Pink isn’t out there.
So there you have it – pink is just the wishful thinking of our brain blending the red and violet wavelengths together to create the colour of our favourite Panther.

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