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January 2017, vol 12 no 4

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David J. Kelly


Photons of different energies are perceived differently. Lower energy photons appear redder while higher energy photons appear bluer. There are three ‘primary’ colours; red, green and blue. In combination these give the ‘secondary’ colours; cyan, magenta and yellow. And if you put them all together, you get white light. So white is all colour information, at once, whereas black is no colour information at all. If an artist were to define black and white, perhaps they’d do it the other way round. A blank page or a starting canvas is often white, but when the artist mixes all colours together in equal quantity, they end up with black. So black is all colour information at once and white is no colour information at all. Is it any wonder that artists and scientists have trouble understanding one another?

without words
the lingua franca
of cherry blossom