How do we see Colour? Join Twing on a fun adventure to help bring colour back to the island on the Twin App!
Here’s a Preview of What You’ll Learn!
What is Colour?
The grass is green, the sky is blue and rainbows are, well, colourful, right? But what exactly are colours? Where do they come from? And how do we see them? Well, those very questions were asked a long time ago by a very famous scientist called Sir Isaac Newton, too.
Let’s answer these questions together! But first, some fundamentals:
How Do We See Colour?
You can’t see colour without light. But how does light reach us? When light leaves its source (for example the Sun), it moves towards us in straight lines called rays! You’ve heard of the term “ray of sunshine” before, haven’t you? Well, that’s where that phrase comes from.
When light hits an object, it is reflected off in different colours. We see things only when the light that is reflected off of them reaches our eyes. That’s why when it is very dark we can’t see anything. With this logic, we know that a tomato is red because it absorbs all colours except red. Same goes for a banana – it is yellow because it reflects the colour yellow.
Our Eyes and Light
So, how does our eyes help us see? Light enters our eyes and is turned into information for our brain to process. That information is sent to our brain where it can make sense of the image!
White Light and the Rainbow
Unlike popular belief that sunlight is yellow, it’s actually white! And in fact, white light is made up of all visible colours combined. Sir Isaac Newton famously discovered this when he conducted his famous experiment to refract light and see the colour spectrum! By sending light through a prism, light was bent, or refracted, by the prism and each wavelength of light is refracted by a slightly different amount. Because each colour is refracted differently, each bends at a different angle, resulting in the separation of white light into the colours of the spectrum, much like a rainbow!
You know, Newton wasn’t in school when he discovered the mysteries about colours and light. In fact, he was at home quarantining because of the Plague in England in 1665! He was in his house when he conducted the experiment where he discovered that white light traveling from the sun was actually composed of 7 colours! These colours were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet, also known as ROY G BIV to help you remember.
Another fun fact!
Did you know that water droplets in the atmosphere bend light? Exactly like Newton’s prism, water droplets in the atmosphere bend light and that’s why see rainbows!
Learn more in Twin App!
You’ve learned a ton about light and colours! Learn more in the Twin App and help Twing bring back colour to the islander’s lives in our adventure titled “Where Did the Colours Go?.” Also, be sure to complete the activity “How to Make a Newton Disc” in the adventure or here on our website!