Saturday, October 24, 2009

The mystery of violet and red solved

Why is red so much more important than violet? I finally found an answer on this page:
As there are around an order of magnitude fewer bluish-violet cone cells than the other two types – and as the other two types are both sensitive to greens – this explains why the human eye is particularly sensitive to variations in the green portion of the spectrum. (For the more pedantic amongst us, the actual ratio of bluish-violet to bluish-green to yellowish-green [i.e., "blue" to "green" to "red"] cone cells is about 1:10:20.)
So the reason red and yellow are the top two colors while violet is an also-ran is simple: there are 20 times as many red/yellow-sensitive cones as violet-sensitive ones. By assuming that "red" cones are specially attuned to red and that the three types of cones are present in equal numbers, I made a mystery out of something that's really quite straightforward. Remember what the no-nose guy says, kids!



Now I'm going to go read the rest of that page I linked to. It looks like a very clear and thorough explanation of color.

1 comment:

  1. Whaaaa...???
    What was your original Question/Mystery?
    It seems to me that i can -see- red, violet & purple all equally well, and that if there are any preferences, they are somehow ingrained for survival purposes.
    Plus there are simply very few examples in nature of violet or purple things.
    Most everything is brown, then green maybe, ( and blue ) and since red is the compliment of green, it may be that most hamsters prefer to look at red to rest their eyes from looking at all the green...? Or if we actually prefer green, then we look at red to enjoy the green afterglow when we close our eyes.
    What i think is curious is that most people think of green as a primary color ( an important or real color ) while they completely disregard Orange ( call it red ) and split purple into purple & violet. You would think that if Green were so important, we'd have different words for each distinct shade of green...??? ( Technically yes, but Not Popularly )
    Anyways; Color is not seen in the cones & rods in the eye, Color is very magickally seen in the brain.
    Another thing that i've always found very mysterious and amazing is that chemists were able to find chemicals that reacted in just the right ways to make color photography possible...???

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