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1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 12:36 AM
How can we find/or invent a unseen colour? I've been thinking alot about this and I try to force my brain to think about a color I've never seen before but I cant! :p

spupy
November 10th, 2009, 01:00 AM
Aren't there infinitely many colors, like there are infinitely many fractions between 1 and 2? Unfortunately, we humans can't see/discern them all. But you can surely find a RGB value that no-one has claimed yet and call it your own. ;)

EDIT: Wait, I though up a color. I called it "cyangenta". Unfortunately, I can't describe it to you using my inferior human language. Isn't this a qualia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia)?

blueshiftoverwatch
November 10th, 2009, 01:03 AM
How can we find/or invent a unseen colour? I've been thinking alot about this and I try to force my brain to think about a color I've never seen before but I cant! :p
I read somewhere that people who tear the lens's of their eyes and have prosthetic ones surgically implanted are able to see slightly into the ultraviolet end of the spectrum.

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 01:04 AM
Aren't there infinitely many colors, like there are infinitely many fractions between 1 and 2? Unfortunately, we humans can't see/discern them all. But you can surely find a RGB value that no-one has claimed yet and call it your own. ;)

oh sure. But I was thinking about a new base color,, other than the standards of green, black, blue, red, yellow, grey, pink, orange and so on.. try to think about a color that isnt in the color wheel.. its impossible! :S:mad:

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 01:06 AM
I mean, try to think about a color that isnt in this color wheel, including the black colour:

http://www.realcolorwheel.com/colorwheel.htg/Real-Color-Wheel-Plain5in72dpi.png

forrestcupp
November 10th, 2009, 01:12 AM
It's been estimated that the human eye can distinguish around 10 million different colors. The thing is, they are all slight variations of all the colors within the "visible spectrum". So you're right; it is impossible to think of a color different than those because it would be outside the visible spectrum that our eyes cannot perceive.

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 01:15 AM
It's been estimated that the human eye can distinguish around 10 million different colors. The thing is, they are all slight variations of all the colors within the "visible spectrum". So you're right; it is impossible to think of a color different than those because it would be outside the visible spectrum that our eyes cannot perceive.

Interesting! How can we create a program to discover colors outside the visible spectrum that we humans cant see?

Paqman
November 10th, 2009, 01:25 AM
I mean, try to think about a color that isnt in this color wheel, including the black colour:


Invisible green.

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 01:26 AM
Invisible green.

haha! but its still green! :D

Warpnow
November 10th, 2009, 01:35 AM
What you're trying to do is impossible. You can't (without modification) see colors that aren't on that wheel. You cannot imagine what you cannot see. It is, in essence, unimaginable.

wulfgang
November 10th, 2009, 01:37 AM
I've been trying to imagine a new colour since I was 5. So I guess it is impossible.

SomeGuyDude
November 10th, 2009, 01:38 AM
You're looking at color the wrong way. It's not a matter of "mixing colors" in a new way or anything, you have to remember that colors are simply varying wavelengths of light. Trying to come up with a new color is like trying to come up with a new musical note. The only available spots are in the incredibly high areas (ultraviolet) or incredibly low (infrared), where it's arguable whether or not the human eye can even pick 'em up.

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 01:40 AM
You're confusing two separate things. Color is correlated with certain frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum through our perception but they are not the same thing. Color only exists in your mind as a perceptual counterpart to frequency of oscillation of electromagnetic waves within a certain bandwidth. The range over which the color map is applied is dictated by the range over which the cones in your retina are sensitive to changes of luminous intensity. It's meaningless to talk about colors that lie outside of the visible (as defined by your eye!) spectrum because color is specifically a perceptual phenomenon. More colors would correspond to taking finer gradations within the color space, not finding colors that are outside of it. Imagine increasing the number of bits used to encode color, rather than creating new colors. The color space becomes more continuous and is carved into a larger number of finer gradations.

Paqman
November 10th, 2009, 01:42 AM
haha! but its still green! :D

Ok, invisible purple then.

Mike'sHardLinux
November 10th, 2009, 01:44 AM
I think Chronon is right. And to further back you up, I am partially color-blind. Sometimes, the color I see as blue, I have been told is purple. I also seem to "mis-perceive" orange, red, brown, green, grey....actually I have problems with shades of all colors.

00ber n00b
November 10th, 2009, 01:49 AM
What's gonna really blow your mind is how do you know we all see the same color and label it as such? What if I actually see purple, but I call it green because all of my life I've been told it was green?

SomeGuyDude
November 10th, 2009, 01:49 AM
I'm red/green colorblind myself. Never passed one of those "circle of dots" tests in my life.

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 01:53 AM
What's gonna really blow your mind is how do you know we all see the same color and label it as such? What if I actually see purple, but I call it green because all of my life I've been told it was green?

haha yeah because we read the color waves different :p

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 01:54 AM
You're confusing two separate things. Color is correlated with certain frequencies in the electromagnetic spectrum through our perception but they are not the same thing. Color only exists in your mind as a perceptual counterpart to frequency of oscillation of electromagnetic waves within a certain bandwidth. The range over which the color map is applied is dictated by the range over which the cones in your retina are sensitive to changes of luminous intensity. It's meaningless to talk about colors that lie outside of the visible (as defined by your eye!) spectrum because color is specifically a perceptual phenomenon. More colors would correspond to taking finer gradations within the color space, not finding colors that are outside of it. Imagine increasing the number of bits used to encode color, rather than creating new colors. The color space becomes more continuous and is carved into a larger number of finer gradations.

that cleared some things ;) but maybe there is something we dont know yet... I hope so

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 01:55 AM
I think Chronon is right. And to further back you up, I am partially color-blind. Sometimes, the color I see as blue, I have been told is purple. I also seem to "mis-perceive" orange, red, brown, green, grey....actually I have problems with shades of all colors.

or maybe you see the correct colors, and we others who is "not" color blind see the wrong colors, but you are the few left who see the right colors? :p

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 01:57 AM
Ok, invisible purple then.

haha, theres the thing we've been looking for all these years

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 01:58 AM
What's gonna really blow your mind is how do you know we all see the same color and label it as such? What if I actually see purple, but I call it green because all of my life I've been told it was green?

There is no way to verify this. When we get right down to it, color is completely internal and the thing that exists out there is light with a certain set of frequencies. Our names for a batch of frequencies will match because we tag sets of frequencies with specific names. So, we will all tend to agree that grass looks green, etc. However, we have no idea whether or not we have, individually, broken the cyclic color wheel in the same place internally (as must be done to map it to some linearly increasing quantity like wavelength of light). We can, of course, create color maps for all sorts of data and there's no requirement to break the color wheel in any place in particular when doing so.

benj1
November 10th, 2009, 02:02 AM
What you're trying to do is impossible. You can't (without modification) see colors that aren't on that wheel. You cannot imagine what you cannot see. It is, in essence, unimaginable.

you can imagine things you can't see, the invisible man, cloaking devices etc, a do agree that you can't invent an arbitrary colour, its a sense, it isnt as if you can describe it, its like sound, you cant invent a new note.




I'm red/green colorblind myself. Never passed one of those "circle of dots" tests in my life.

hope i don't meet you at a traffic light ;)

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 02:05 AM
What you're trying to do is impossible. You can't (without modification) see colors that aren't on that wheel. You cannot imagine what you cannot see. It is, in essence, unimaginable.

Welcome to the imaginationland.

Imagination, Imagination, Imaginatiooooooon, Imaginatioooon:guitar:

keplerspeed
November 10th, 2009, 02:07 AM
Visible light, what the human eye can detect and interpret, is such a small band of EMR. Colours are just names we have assigned to descrete bands of wavelengths... however light is a continuous spectrum! Where do you want to add this new colour? Somewhere in between long wavelength red or shorter wavelength purple?

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 02:16 AM
Visible light, what the human eye can detect and interpret, is such a small band of EMR. Colours are just names we have assigned to descrete bands of wavelengths... however light is a continuous spectrum! Where do you want to add this new colour? Somewhere in between long wavelength red or shorter wavelength purple?

hmm.. hard question ;) what about a interupted wavelength? a new base colour.. I dont know, its to complex for my brain and iq

00ber n00b
November 10th, 2009, 02:17 AM
There is no way to verify this. When we get right down to it, color is completely internal and the thing that exists out there is light with a certain set of frequencies. Our names for a batch of frequencies will match because we tag sets of frequencies with specific names. So, we will all tend to agree that grass looks green, etc. However, we have no idea whether or not we have, individually, broken the cyclic color wheel in the same place internally (as must be done to map it to some linearly increasing quantity like wavelength of light). We can, of course, create color maps for all sorts of data and there's no requirement to break the color wheel in any place in particular when doing so.

I agree. But it can be different for the individual, i.e. someone who is colorblind, color limited, etc. Maybe they aren't colorblind, maybe they see something totally different...

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 02:18 AM
Visible light, what the human eye can detect and interpret, is such a small band of EMR. Colours are just names we have assigned to descrete bands of wavelengths... however light is a continuous spectrum! Where do you want to add this new colour? Somewhere in between long wavelength red or shorter wavelength purple?

But the point is that the range of frequencies covered by the color-map is defined by what we can physically detect with our eyes. What is the point of my brain applying the color map to frequencies that can't be detected by my eyes? Color only exists in my head, so it would only be a waste of colors to map some of them to frequencies that I can't actually see.

keplerspeed
November 10th, 2009, 02:19 AM
hmm.. hard question ;) what about a interupted wavelength? a new base colour.. I dont know, its to complex for my brain and iq

But base colours are nothing special, I suggest reading this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electromagnetic_spectrum

BuffaloX
November 10th, 2009, 02:20 AM
If you seriously want to investigate such problems further, you might want to read up on this guy:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Nagel

"what is it like to be a bat?"

Same problem.

Your eyes only see red green and blue, as that is what we have receptors for, all colors are combinations of those 3.
Adding a fourth color would be either infrared or ultraviolet.
Humans can distinguish about 4 million colors. If the eye had receptors for one more color, with about the same sensitivity as the existing ones, the total combinations would be about 650 million distinguishable colors.

So you really are doing it wrong by trying to imagine one more color, what you should try to imagine is being able to see 160 times more colors than you currently can.

Paqman
November 10th, 2009, 02:22 AM
Arguably, animals that see a wider range of the spectrum do in fact see "colours" that we don't. What colour is infrared?

Likewise, some animals have whole senses that we don't, such as electroreception and lateral lines in fish. It's hard to imagine the experience of being able to feel the electrical activity and motion of everything near you.

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 02:23 AM
I agree. But it can be different for the individual, i.e. someone who is colorblind, color limited, etc. Maybe they aren't colorblind, maybe they see something totally different...

Of course. I agree with you.

Mike'sHardLinux
November 10th, 2009, 02:24 AM
Isn't the "red, green, blue" thing just a way to perceive color, though? Or CMYK. Like Chronon said, ways to represent frequencies in the visible spectrum....they are just concepts in our minds.....

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 02:35 AM
to be honest. I dont think we have the technoligy to make a program "see"/discover a new color, or? Im just open to all this.

EDIT: How about make a program that can see what animals see? colors we dont see

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 02:38 AM
Arguably, animals that see a wider range of the spectrum do in fact see "colours" that we don't. What colour is infrared?

Likewise, some animals have whole senses that we don't, such as electroreception and lateral lines in fish. It's hard to imagine the experience of being able to feel the electrical activity and motion of everything near you.

In the first case, it just seems like a case of fitting the color map over a slightly larger set of values. I can apply a color map to data that extends over any arbitrary interval of values, so this doesn't necessarily require the creation of new colors. (Also, we can say that they are sensitive to a wider range of wavelengths than us but we can't actually address what colors they see.)

For the second case, certainly some animals are able to perceive things with senses that we lack. I think trying to imagine what they perceive is a bit like trying to look in the 4th dimension.

keplerspeed
November 10th, 2009, 02:41 AM
to be honest. I dont think we have the technoligy to make a program "see"/discover a new color, or? Im just open to all this.

EDIT: How about make a program that can see what animals see? colors we dont see

Yes we do. Never heard of thermal vision? What about microwave telescopes? Gamma ray telescopes?? Humans have built instruments to detect and "see" light from long wavelength radio all the way up to gamma rays.

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 02:45 AM
Yes we do. Never heard of thermal vision? What about microwave telescopes? Gamma ray telescopes?? Humans have built instruments to detect and "see" light from long wavelength radio all the way up to cosmic rays.

Never heard of it. You know what you are talking about I see. But I'd like to belive that we humans will discover something new in the world of colors in the future I hope :D

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 02:45 AM
Yes we do. Never heard of thermal vision? What about microwave telescopes? Gamma ray telescopes?? Humans have built instruments to detect and "see" light from long wavelength radio all the way up to cosmic rays.

Those are wavelengths of light, not colors.

(Also, "cosmic rays" generally refers to high energy particles, not electromagnetic waves.)

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 03:00 AM
to be honest. I dont think we have the technoligy to make a program "see"/discover a new color, or? Im just open to all this.

EDIT: How about make a program that can see what animals see? colors we dont see

How will it display this? How do you think you will see something that you can't see? Your imagination is probably your best bet at perceiving something that cannot be sensed by your senses. (I'm not being sarcastic.)

LinuxFanBoi
November 10th, 2009, 03:05 AM
What you're trying to do is impossible.

It's only impossible if this guy cant find a way.
http://idology.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/most_interesting_man.jpg?w=225&h=273

Firestem4
November 10th, 2009, 03:08 AM
Interesting! How can we create a program to discover colors outside the visible spectrum that we humans cant see?

All colors are a form of radiation. The Visible Light Spectrum is "Light" radiation that is in a certain, perceptible wavelength that our eyes can detect. Blue/violet are at one end of the spectrum and are have the shortest wavelength/fastest frequency. Red is at the opposite end of the Visible Light Spectrum and therefore has the longest wavelength/slowest frequency.

Infrared is in fact a Color even though we can not see it. (Some animals can in fact see what to us, is infrared). The wavelength is longer and our eyes can not detect it. We know it is there though, because its just another wavelength. So because we know it is there, we can utilize it.

You can use the exact same argument for acoustics. The human ear can only hear acoustic noise from 20hz-20khz. A dog whistle is above 20khz. We can't hear it but the dog can. Their ears are perceptive to the Faster wavelength/shorter frequency.

I hope this helps. (If anyone sees anything wrong with this please correct me!)

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 03:23 AM
All colors are a form of radiation. The Visible Light Spectrum is "Light" radiation that is in a certain, perceptible wavelength that our eyes can detect. Blue/violet are at one end of the spectrum and are have the shortest wavelength/fastest frequency. Red is at the opposite end of the Visible Light Spectrum and therefore has the longest wavelength/slowest frequency.

Infrared is in fact a Color even though we can not see it. (Some animals can in fact see what to us, is infrared). The wavelength is longer and our eyes can not detect it. We know it is there though, because its just another wavelength. So because we know it is there, we can utilize it.

You can use the exact same argument for acoustics. The human ear can only hear acoustic noise from 20hz-20khz. A dog whistle is above 20khz. We can't hear it but the dog can. Their ears are perceptive to the Faster wavelength/shorter frequency.

I hope this helps. (If anyone sees anything wrong with this please correct me!)

You may certainly say that the spectrum of electromagnetic radiation covers a much broader range than we can detect. However, I think it's not correct to assign the property of color to any of these wavelengths. As I have said a few times in this topic, color is a purely perceptual phenomenon. It does not exist outside of an observer's mind. When talking about the physical world, we should discuss frequency or wavelength of the light. When talking about color I am talking about my perceptual experiences.

Similarly, tone is our perception of the frequency of pressure waves in a certain bandwidth. Smell is our perception of a molecule's shape. There are many frequencies of pressure waves that we can't perceive with our sense of hearing, but we can't really talk about tone in that case. There are also many shapes of molecule that we can't smell so we correctly describe them as odorless, even though they have specific shapes that we can ascertain through other means.

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 03:28 AM
cool, the only thing we need now is dog glasses for the eyes :p

keplerspeed
November 10th, 2009, 03:44 AM
Those are wavelengths of light, not colors.

But colours are wavelengths of light!! This "new undescovered colour" *hem* is just going to be another wavelength of light. Colour is just what we assign to light visible to the human eye.

Lionella
November 10th, 2009, 03:54 AM
to be honest. I dont think we have the technoligy to make a program "see"/discover a new color, or? Im just open to all this.

EDIT: How about make a program that can see what animals see? colors we dont see


Have you been reading Terry Pratchett or something? Octarine is a thing of Discworld, not our world.

Also, some insects see ultraviolet.

When you say 'base colour' are you just referring to the colours of the rainbow? or the really base ones, red blue green or red yellow blue (depending on whether it's art or science)

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 04:10 AM
But colours are wavelengths of light!! This "new undescovered colour" *hem* is just going to be another wavelength of light. Colour is just what we assign to light visible to the human eye.

You should be careful with the word "are". Assigning color to a physical system represents sloppy use of language. The electromagnetic field has a spectrum that we can measure. This provides a detailed quantitative description of the spectral make-up of the light field. Color is something that I, as a human, experience. You assign perceptive qualities to the physical world itself by claiming that color exists "out there".

Color corresponds most directly to a pattern of activation in your nervous system. Consider that you can experience color in your dreams without detection of an external field with specific spectrum. Color can certainly correspond to spectral features of an electromagnetic wave striking your retina, but it's sloppy to claim that the color belongs to the field itself rather than to you and your nervous system and the attendant perceptual world that they create.

I would rather say that color is what we, as humans, experience. Objectively, there is no such thing as color.

Lionella
November 10th, 2009, 04:25 AM
You should be careful with the word "are". Assigning color to a physical system represents sloppy use of language. The electromagnetic field has a spectrum that we can measure. This provides a detailed quantitative description of the spectral make-up of the light field. Color is something that I, as a human, experience. You assign perceptive qualities to the physical world itself by claiming that color exists "out there".

Color corresponds most directly to a pattern of activation in your nervous system. Consider that you can experience color in your dreams without detection of an external field with specific spectrum. Color can certainly correspond to spectral features of an electromagnetic wave striking your retina, but it's sloppy to claim that the color belongs to the field itself rather than to you and your nervous system and the attendant perceptual world that they create.

I would rather say that color is what we, as humans, experience. Objectively, there is no such thing as color.

I understand what you are saying, but as well as experiencing colours, we also use them as a measurement. We assign the visible wavelengths colours, for instance, the wavelength 700nm is red . We describe things in colours, as a reference to what wavelength is being emitted, reflected, absorbed, whatever.

Also, I would like to point out that there are many other organisms experience colour, not just humans. Even plants. There are plant proteins that rely on different wavelengths (or in other terms, colours) to make them grow in certain directions and so that they can flower at certain times of the year.

Lionella
November 10th, 2009, 04:26 AM
Sorry, posted twice....

keplerspeed
November 10th, 2009, 04:31 AM
Of course, humans have had to assign colours to specific wavelength, so to us, yes, colours are wavelengths. Our assignment of these colours is quite arbitrary, only relevant to us. But I think that may be beyond the point..

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 04:56 AM
I understand what you are saying, but as well as experiencing colours, we also use them as a measurement. We assign the visible wavelengths colours, for instance, the wavelength 700nm is red . We describe things in colours, as a reference to what wavelength is being emitted, reflected, absorbed, whatever.

Also, I would like to point out that there are many other organisms experience colour, not just humans. Even plants. There are plant proteins that rely on different wavelengths (or in other terms, colours) to make them grow in certain directions and so that they can flower at certain times of the year.

Wavelength can be measured. Color cannot. You and several other people in this topic keep mistaking properties of physical systems with our perceptions of them. Is a smell a physical property of a molecule?

People do use this sort of language and I regard it as shorthand that's acceptable provided a few caveats are understood. For instance, that the name of a color really is being used as a tag for a certain interval of wavelengths of light. This shorthand can be useful and intuitive when talking about wavelength ranges that we can see with our eyes.

The shorthand becomes confusing and not-useful, IMO, when it is stretched to the point of claiming colors for wavelengths of light that we cannot see with our eyes. The metaphor has run out and you are best describing the physical system in terms of its physically quantifiable properties.

You do not know how these other organisms perceive. All you can say is that they are sensitive to certain intervals of wavelength and that they can resolve certain spectral components of the field. You don't really know what they are perceiving at all.

I claim that color is only meaningful to humans describing their experiences to each other. How would you describe color to an alien life form or to a blind person?

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 05:17 AM
Of course, humans have had to assign colours to specific wavelength, so to us, yes, colours are wavelengths. Our assignment of these colours is quite arbitrary, only relevant to us. But I think that may be beyond the point..

To me, the words "is" and "are" imply a sort of objective equivalence. If you say that we describe certain wavelengths as colors or we perceive certain wavelengths as colors then I can wholeheartedly agree with you. However, when you claim that one "is" the other but then restrict this equivalence to some special audience, I don't really follow this language.

papangul
November 10th, 2009, 05:18 AM
Isn't this a qualia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qualia)?
Yes, this is the classic "problem of qualia" in philosophy. From the wikipedia link:
If qualia of this sort exist, then a normally sighted person who sees red would be unable to describe the experience of this perception in such a way that a listener who has never experienced color will be able to know everything there is to know about that experience.

Not only that, even a person who knows how red colour is like but has not seen a rose flower ever, will not be able to figure out how a red rose looks from the descriptions of a red rose(without pics) no matter how detailed they are.

But if that person has seen a, say, yellow rose and red colour earlier, he can figure out how a red rose could look like.

Its important to know the limitations of mind and brain. Mind can never invent a new thing, at most it can combine known things.

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 05:51 AM
Yes, this is the classic "problem of qualia" in philosophy. From the wikipedia link:

Not only that, even a person who knows how red colour is like but has not seen a rose flower ever, will not be able to figure out how a red rose looks from the descriptions of a red rose(without pics) no matter how detailed they are.

But if that person has seen a, say, yellow rose and red colour earlier, he can figure out how a red rose could look like.

Its important to know the limitations of mind and brain. Mind can never invent a new thing, at most it can combine known things.

Right. So, the question of a color that we can't see lacks meaning. From the 'standard' human perspective, color space is spanned by 3 degrees of freedom and trying to imagine a 4th independent color seems like just as fruitful a pursuit as trying to look in a 4th spatial direction.

papangul
November 10th, 2009, 07:33 AM
Right. So, the question of a color that we can't see lacks meaning.
That reminds me of a dialogue between Einstein and poet Rabindranath Tagore. His poems often carried glimpses of esoteric hindu philosophies.

Einstein said something like this-"I am interested in knowing the truth that is independent of us"

Tagore replied, "If there is a truth that is independent of us, then it is irrelevant to us".

Einstein exclaimed-"You are more atheist than me!"

Bodsda
November 10th, 2009, 08:13 AM
You cannot imagine what you cannot see. It is, in essence, unimaginable.

Can I use this statement to refute the existence of god?

simonday99
November 10th, 2009, 08:19 AM
My point is , you actually discover what is already available right ? And whats available you know already. To discover something that you don't know is IMO impossible.

But you can play with the base colors and with some unique amalgam you might get a unique color !

papangul
November 10th, 2009, 12:17 PM
Can I use this statement to refute the existence of god?
The statement only says that you cannot imagine what you cannot see. That is not same as saying that what you can't see does not exist.

A person who is blind from birth obviously shouldn't be able to imagine any colour, but can he use the statement you refer to above(or any statement) to refute the existence of red colour?

Disclaimer: I am not saying this in support of the god hypothesis, I am just trying to find a hole in Bodsda's proposed line of argument.

benj1
November 10th, 2009, 01:28 PM
The statement only says that you cannot imagine what you cannot see. That is not same as saying that what you can't see does not exist.

A person who is blind from birth obviously shouldn't be able to imagine any colour, but can he use the statement you refer to above(or any statement) to refute the existence of red colour?

Disclaimer: I am not saying this in support of the god hypothesis, I am just trying to find a hole in Bodsda's proposed line of argument.

you could use it as an argument to refute god (although i dont subscribe to it), you cant see god so you cant imagine him, if you cant imagine him there is no basis for any kind of conversation on the subject.

a blind person and colour is different because there are other ways of measuring colour using the wavelength, so you can prove that different wavelengths exist, the only argument left is if i experience the colour red in the same way as you, and you can have that argument with anyone anyway.

forrestcupp
November 10th, 2009, 03:11 PM
Wavelength can be measured. Color cannot.You're talking to a bunch of computer geeks here. Why can't color be measured? 24-bit graphics have 3 bytes that represent red, green, and blue, each with a value of 0-255. That system gives us a total of 16 million color variations, which is more colors than the human eye can perceive, even according to the higher estimates.

The fact that these wavelengths affect our cones and rods in a tangible, physical way tells me that it is more than just something in our minds. It is a physical reaction. The fact that we put arbitrary names on them doesn't mean they aren't real. Saying that colors are only a mental thing is like saying that the sense of touch is only mental and we're not actually feeling anything physical.


Can I use this statement to refute the existence of god?A statement like this from a member? Wow!

I've never seen the wind before. I've only seen the effects of the wind. But I guess those things could have been caused by something else since the wind doesn't really exist. ;)

oedipuss
November 10th, 2009, 03:42 PM
It wouldn't have to be a wavelength above or below the visible range to qualify as a new color. It has more to do with the way the eye functions, than the light wavelength an object reflects.
The eyes can only respond to 3 different wavelengths. Lets call them red, green and blue (although they aren't these colors exactly).

An object reflecting a 'yellow' wavelength would excite the red receptors and the green receptors equally and not the blue receptors, and we'd perceive the color yellow. An object reflecting equal amounts of 'red' wavelength and 'green' wavelength but not any 'blue' wavelength would be perceived as yellow also, though in fact the light it emits would be completely different than that of the other object. We can't distinguish between the two.

That is basically why we think of all colors as 3-dimensional, that is to say being combinations of three basic colors , no matter what we choose those 3 colors to be. (black in cmyk is a printer thing, it's not an extra dimension)

So, if we had another receptor in our eyes, of a fourth wavelength (regardless of whether this would be inside the visible spectrum or not) we would perceive more colors.

Keyper7
November 10th, 2009, 04:03 PM
Since we're discussing this... can I write a program to faithfully emulate the sound of a tree falling when there's no one near to hear it? :)

1111peoy
November 10th, 2009, 04:53 PM
Since we're discussing this... can I write a program to faithfully emulate the sound of a tree falling when there's no one near to hear it? :)

Sure, just make it print out "tree falling, high sound true"

Keyper7
November 10th, 2009, 04:56 PM
Sure, just make it print out "tree falling, high sound true"

But... IS it true?

forrestcupp
November 10th, 2009, 06:14 PM
Since we're discussing this... can I write a program to faithfully emulate the sound of a tree falling when there's no one near to hear it? :)

If there are no ears to hear it, there is no sound. There are only sound waves.

fatality_uk
November 10th, 2009, 06:42 PM
if there are no ears to hear it, there is no sound. There are only sound waves.

=d>

forrestcupp
November 10th, 2009, 07:24 PM
=d>

What does that mean?

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 07:28 PM
That reminds me of a dialogue between Einstein and poet Rabindranath Tagore. His poems often carried glimpses of esoteric hindu philosophies.

Einstein said something like this-"I am interested in knowing the truth that is independent of us"

Tagore replied, "If there is a truth that is independent of us, then it is irrelevant to us".

Einstein exclaimed-"You are more atheist than me!"

Nice. :D

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 07:59 PM
You're talking to a bunch of computer geeks here. Why can't color be measured? 24-bit graphics have 3 bytes that represent red, green, and blue, each with a value of 0-255. That system gives us a total of 16 million color variations, which is more colors than the human eye can perceive, even according to the higher estimates.

But you should realize that different monitors respond differently. The only way to really claim that the color produced by #FF00FF on two different devices is the same is to measure their spectra with the same (or at least a standardized) measuring device and by doing so you are actually drawing a correspondence between physical light and its wavelengths and the hex codes for the color (or whichever color model you wish to employ). The point is that color is a subjective thing and humans are notorious for 'coloring' their perceptions according to mood and other factors. Music can sound wonderful on one day and like mush on another. Colors can seem vibrant and deep on one day and dull on another, due to things like psychological state. It's a reason that claims of superior sound quality tend not to be accepted without something like an ABX text that will remove psychological biases.



The fact that these wavelengths affect our cones and rods in a tangible, physical way tells me that it is more than just something in our minds. It is a physical reaction. The fact that we put arbitrary names on them doesn't mean they aren't real. Saying that colors are only a mental thing is like saying that the sense of touch is only mental and we're not actually feeling anything physical.

Not quite. I am drawing a distinction between the physical impulse and the transduced signal. People who say that wavelength "is" color are completely sweeping under the rug the whole issue of signal transduction and seem to believe that they live in an objective world.

I see the issue of transduction as important. A turntable stylus makes a decent model for this. As a vinyl LP rotates, variations in the surface of the groove lead to pressure variations on the stylus. A piezoelectric crystal acts as a transducer that converts this pressure variation into a variation in voltage. Under certain, well controlled conditions the circuit attached to the piezo may contain voltages that correlate well to the pattern of variations in the surface of the groove of the LP. However, to claim that the two are actually the same thing is ignoring a lot of interactions and a lot of potential sources of noise. It also ignores the other possible dynamical properties of the circuit to which I have attached the transducer. Electronic noise may be introduced in the electronic circuit that is completely independent of the surface variations of the groove.

The point being, we only have access to the processed perception, not the raw output and certainly not the physical thing that is out there. A color is no more a wavelength than a smell is a shape. Both are metaphors that allow us to experience something physical.

I pointed out that people have visual dreams, in which they have apparent sensory perception. They perceive colors and sounds and such. These are real perceptions that simply don't correlate to external, physical phenomena. Given an appropriate set of electrodes implanted in my brain, someone could deliver a specific set of impulses that would cause me to see something, independent of any actual light. That which we see is not necessarily that which exists 'out there'. Of course, such inputs into the brain can be used to provide artificial sight for blind people, but it also points out that there's not a necessary correlation between a stimulus 'out there' and an electrical signal in someone's brain (and further along the chain, a color in their mind).



I've never seen the wind before. I've only seen the effects of the wind. But I guess those things could have been caused by something else since the wind doesn't really exist. ;)
Logically, you should not claim that something doesn't exist just because you haven't seen it. If we wish to carry out meaningful conversation then someone who wishes to use a word must communicate the meaning of that word sufficiently. Thus, it is the responsibility of the person claiming that there are colors that nobody else can see to adequately describe those colors, otherwise the words remain meaningless. We have all seen things carried in orderly formations by gusts of what we call wind. It seems like a sensible construct to account for observations that we can mostly share.

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 08:02 PM
If there are no ears to hear it, there is no sound. There are only sound waves.

And if there are no eyes to see it then there is no color, only wavelengths of light.

hwttdz
November 10th, 2009, 08:22 PM
Physical light exists in one dimensional space correct, all that varies is a frequency. And perceived light exists in a 3 or 4 dimensional space (3 cone cells in the eye, and rods determining brightness). So one can imagine addition of a 4th, 5th, nth cone cell adding another dimension to perceived light. Or getting even crazier one can imagine perception of polarization of light (it's not unheard of, consider mantis shrimp). However there is nothing to be "discovered" as the light exists in the physical world and can be well described with spectrophotometers already.

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 08:55 PM
Physical light exists in one dimensional space correct, all that varies is a frequency. And perceived light exists in a 3 or 4 dimensional space (3 cone cells in the eye, and rods determining brightness). So one can imagine addition of a 4th, 5th, nth cone cell adding another dimension to perceived light. Or getting even crazier one can imagine perception of polarization of light (it's not unheard of, consider mantis shrimp). However there is nothing to be "discovered" as the light exists in the physical world and can be well described with spectrophotometers already.

I have seen some report that some people do have a 4th type of cone, but it doesn't appear to change the topological properties of color for them. Adding more cones could give better resolution but I don't see that it requires a topological change to the nature of how we perceive color.

The three cones don't directly correspond to the 3 degrees of freedom of a color space/solid. They just provide three reference points to give an approximation of a spectrum. They allow you to approximate the average hue that you're seeing by measuring intensities at 3 different places in the visible spectrum. You can fit a more complicated curve and get a better sense of color by using 4 points to fit the spectrum. It doesn't necessarily mean that the 4th color is independent of the other 3, only that your brain can fit a more detailed spline to the data it's getting from your eye. Given our current color models, hue would still be an angular degree of freedom that is periodic and two others would map out positions on the gray scale (e.g. saturation and value).

lukjad007
November 10th, 2009, 11:26 PM
How can we find/or invent a unseen colour? I've been thinking alot about this and I try to force my brain to think about a color I've never seen before but I cant! :p
I imagine that to do so you would need to measure wavelenths and pick one that is not visible to the human eye.

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 11:32 PM
I imagine that to do so you would need to measure wavelenths and pick one that is not visible to the human eye.

Color:wavelength of light::smell:shape of molecule

They are not the same thing.

benj1
November 10th, 2009, 11:46 PM
i think one interesting question coming out of this thread, is if its actually possible to add any more colours or not, ie colours are a construct of our mind, have we assigned all these available colours to wavelengths, or are there others that we can't imagine?

my feeling is the former, if we take sound (which is easier because its more linear) the highest note you can think of is the highest you can hear, we have assigned the entire spectrum of sound to sound wavelengths.

but then again if colour (and sound) are contructs of our mind, anything we cant imagine doesn't exist, which kind of proves my argument.... does this lead on to "i think therefore i am"?

Chronon
November 10th, 2009, 11:54 PM
I am not sure how you can argue that what we can't imagine doesn't exist. We don't know what can or can't exist. We can only take stock of our observations and attempt to explain them.

SunnyRabbiera
November 10th, 2009, 11:59 PM
I have always wondered what a Hooloovoo looked like :D

lukjad007
November 11th, 2009, 12:19 AM
Color:wavelength of light::smell:shape of molecule

They are not the same thing.
No, but it's a start. And since it's destined to fail, why not go out with a BLAHOOOHOOHOOBAMALAMAMAMABANG!

benj1
November 11th, 2009, 01:42 AM
I am not sure how you can argue that what we can't imagine doesn't exist. We don't know what can or can't exist. We can only take stock of our observations and attempt to explain them.

was this aimed at me ?

i wasn't, i was saying colours, ie a construct we use to interpret light wavelengths is in our mind, don't exist, so something we imagine (colours) that we can't imagine ?! (new colours), don't/can't exist.

Chronon
November 11th, 2009, 02:44 AM
was this aimed at me ?

i wasn't, i was saying colours, ie a construct we use to interpret light wavelengths is in our mind, don't exist, so something we imagine (colours) that we can't imagine ?! (new colours), don't/can't exist.

Ah. . . I don't know how I failed to parse that. :p

Ex0suit
November 11th, 2009, 03:10 AM
Invisible green.

Invisible black :)

Firestem4
November 11th, 2009, 03:27 AM
i think one interesting question coming out of this thread, is if its actually possible to add any more colours or not, ie colours are a construct of our mind, have we assigned all these available colours to wavelengths, or are there others that we can't imagine?

my feeling is the former, if we take sound (which is easier because its more linear) the highest note you can think of is the highest you can hear, we have assigned the entire spectrum of sound to sound wavelengths.

but then again if colour (and sound) are contructs of our mind, anything we cant imagine doesn't exist, which kind of proves my argument.... does this lead on to "i think therefore i am"?

You bring up an interesting point, but two sounds can share the same frequency and still sound 'different' to us. This is due to tonality, harmonics, and various other factors. Its just like a guitar. Lets say all guitars played a perfect E when strummed, yet how is it we hear so many different sounds coming from the guitar? Tone, attack, decay, Sine waves, square waves, whatever! This changes it.

The difference for us is the human eye can only see a finite amount of colors in the visible spectrum. I don't want to say these colors are set in stone, but to the human eye, Red at such frequency is the same red to everyone all the time. Sounds are infinite, many sounds can share the same frequency. Nothing is defined, and we can hear an infinite number of sounds so long as our ears can perceive them (EG: Being within our range of hearing 20hz-20khz)

benj1
November 11th, 2009, 03:54 AM
You bring up an interesting point, but two sounds can share the same frequency and still sound 'different' to us. This is due to tonality, harmonics, and various other factors. Its just like a guitar. Lets say all guitars played a perfect E when strummed, yet how is it we hear so many different sounds coming from the guitar? Tone, attack, decay, Sine waves, square waves, whatever! This changes it.

The difference for us is the human eye can only see a finite amount of colors in the visible spectrum. I don't want to say these colors are set in stone, but to the human eye, Red at such frequency is the same red to everyone all the time. Sounds are infinite, many sounds can share the same frequency. Nothing is defined, and we can hear an infinite number of sounds so long as our ears can perceive them (EG: Being within our range of hearing 20hz-20khz)

i was thinking just pitch, for simplicity, i don't know if theres an infinite number of sounds, although that opens a pandoras box of where one sound ends and the next begins, although if we can only hear a subset of sound waves, the number of sound waves we can hear must be finite, so it can't be infinite. although what we call sound isn't related to sound waves so its governed by our imaginations. can we imagine infinite sounds??

Firestem4
November 11th, 2009, 05:01 AM
i was thinking just pitch, for simplicity, i don't know if theres an infinite number of sounds, although that opens a pandoras box of where one sound ends and the next begins, although if we can only hear a subset of sound waves, the number of sound waves we can hear must be finite, so it can't be infinite. although what we call sound isn't related to sound waves so its governed by our imaginations. can we imagine infinite sounds??

Think of every single sound you've ever heard in your life. And there are 100 sub-frequencies for every full-digit (20.01-20.1; through 20,000), The frequency your keyboard makes is within that 20hz-20khz range. There are billions of distinct sounds. Though you may be right. Theoretically there is a finite amount of differences in tone in a single frequency. Its kind of like 1 shade of red, and a shade just a tad lighter.. Without knowing it we would still say its "Red", not a different shade of red.

CJ Master
November 11th, 2009, 06:33 AM
It's only impossible if this guy cant find a way.
http://idology.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/most_interesting_man.jpg?w=225&h=273

Wrong.

http://www.reelmovienews.com/files/macgyver.jpg

THIS guy.

phazer
November 11th, 2009, 01:13 PM
Interesting! How can we create a program to discover colors outside the visible spectrum that we humans cant see?

Question is how will you know if the program worked? As you won't be able to see the colour :)

forrestcupp
November 11th, 2009, 07:22 PM
Color:wavelength of light::smell:shape of molecule

They are not the same thing.

But if my eyes are working properly, each wavelength always affects my eyes in exactly the same way causing me to perceive them as a certain color every time. So even though colors may be the product of wavelengths, we can and do assign colors to their respective wavelengths.

On the forums, I am known as forrestcupp. I am not forrestcupp; I'm not even Jason Cupp, which is my real name. Who I am is a complex human being with certain physical features, emotions, ideals, and mannerisms, which is much more than just a name. But I have been assigned a name to represent me so that everyone doesn't have to recite my biography every time they want to just point me out.

I don't get upset when someone says that I am Jason Cupp, so why would I make a stink when someone refers to the 700 nanometer wavelength of radiation as "Red"?

oedipuss
November 11th, 2009, 07:38 PM
I don't get upset when someone says that I am Jason Cupp, so why would I make a stink when someone refers to the 700 nanometer wavelength of radiation as "Red"?

Yes, for ease's sake, but there are important distinctions. The way we hear is much more direct, related to the frequency of sound waves than the way we see corresponds to wavelengths.
I think about it as being able to hear only three tones, and perceiving every in-between frequency as a chord these tones make in various amplitudes.
So we could say hearing sound corresponds to sound wave frequencies (to hear a new sound we _would_ have to go above or below the audible spectrum), but seeing colors does not exactly correspond to light wavelengths.

1111peoy
November 11th, 2009, 07:59 PM
Question is how will you know if the program worked? As you won't be able to see the colour :)
true, but what if the program had to detect something with a color palette function ?:P like:

Detected a color who is already there in the color wheel = print out no new color FALSE

Detect a color wich is "out side" the color spectrum(color wheel), something intersting to investigate = print out maybe there is something.. TRUE

1111peoy
November 11th, 2009, 08:06 PM
This is an idea for a program to detect a new color..

It starts from the beginning at the color wheel and go all the way around.. but then it goes to the "last" color and calculate even "past" the "last" color.. like its going minus or pluss. then a function has to GET a true value of an undiscovered colour.. if not, its only printing "FALSE".. but if its prints out "TRUE", there must be something the color palette function has discovered

Chronon
November 11th, 2009, 08:15 PM
But if my eyes are working properly, each wavelength always affects my eyes in exactly the same way causing me to perceive them as a certain color every time. So even though colors may be the product of wavelengths, we can and do assign colors to their respective wavelengths.

That seems like a very big "if" to me. The fact of the matter is, the signals from your eyes pass through a lot of signal conditioning stages before your conscious mind gets access to them. You do not know the nature of that signal processing and there's little evidence that the signals always get conditioned in the same way. So, assuming that your nervous system responds in exactly the same way when light of a certain wavelength strikes your retina seems like an unwarranted assumption to me.



On the forums, I am known as forrestcupp. I am not forrestcupp; I'm not even Jason Cupp, which is my real name. Who I am is a complex human being with certain physical features, emotions, ideals, and mannerisms, which is much more than just a name. But I have been assigned a name to represent me so that everyone doesn't have to recite my biography every time they want to just point me out.

I don't get upset when someone says that I am Jason Cupp, so why would I make a stink when someone refers to the 700 nanometer wavelength of radiation as "Red"?

That's right. And I have absolutely no problem with people using color as a shorthand expression to refer to bundles of wavelength in the visible spectrum. It makes a certain amount of sense, even if a color and a wavelength are not the same thing. Actually, using a proper name is more precise since it's a specialized tag used to label a complex system. There's little ambiguity in this case.

The problem in the present situation is that color is an experience that we have. Colors can be described as labels for ranges of wavelength that we perceive as qualitatively similar. (It's actually more correct to say that you see red light than light at 700 nm, since you don't know the specific wavelength without measuring it.) It's not meaningful to ask about the color of wavelengths that we can't see. Light that we cannot see does not belong to the set of things that we can label with the property of color.

Another example: We experience mixtures of various biochemicals (neurotransmitters) as emotions. They moderate signal conduction in our nervous system. We could label such chemicals by the feelings that we perceive when they are introduced. One could certainly call an emotion simply a label for certain chemical concentrations (though I find this kind of a perverse way to engage in the human experience). Analogously to the present situation, you could ask what emotion corresponds to any number of organic molecules that do not behave as neurotransmitters. The object of discussion does not belong to the set of objects with such labels and so you wind up with a meaningless question. The same can be said of various odorless chemicals. They have a shape (which our sense of smell detects) but are either too small or chemically inert to be measured by our sense of smell. We can talk about their shape as measured by other means, but asking what they smell like is simply not sensible. Smell is a human experience and we experience them as having no smell. Similarly, color is a human experience and we experience light that's outside of the range of detection of our rods and cones as being invisible. I.e. it has no color.

Chronon
November 11th, 2009, 08:22 PM
This is an idea for a program to detect a new color..

It starts from the beginning at the color wheel and go all the way around.. but then it goes to the "last" color and calculate even "past" the "last" color.. like its going minus or pluss. then a function has to GET a true value of an undiscovered colour.. if not, its only printing "FALSE".. but if its prints out "TRUE", there must be something the color palette function has discovered

Your program may as well try to find an angle that doesn't lie on a circle. It will print FALSE forever.

1111peoy
November 11th, 2009, 08:26 PM
Your program may as well try to find an angle that doesn't lie on a circle. It will print FALSE forever.

sure, but what if the color "circle" was supposed to be square?

EDIT: Or even we havent completed the color circle yet?

EDIT 2: and maybe its not even a infinitive loop?

EDIT 3: there are many "what if", this color quest may seem meaningless because why do we need an extra color? Remeber what Einstein said! You got to prove..(uh, nevermind)

Chronon
November 11th, 2009, 08:39 PM
The difference for us is the human eye can only see a finite amount of colors in the visible spectrum. I don't want to say these colors are set in stone, but to the human eye, Red at such frequency is the same red to everyone all the time. Sounds are infinite, many sounds can share the same frequency. Nothing is defined, and we can hear an infinite number of sounds so long as our ears can perceive them (EG: Being within our range of hearing 20hz-20khz)
We have 3 different types of cones (except for those who have 4) that have a sensitivity spectrum. By combining the signals from the different cones my brain reconstructs a spectrum of the light that I'm seeing. Yes, the number of colors we can see is finite but I think you may be misunderstanding how vision works. There are many different reds and there's no guarantee that another person perceives a given wavelength of light in the same way that I do. The only way of comparing what we experience is through words. We can only claim that we experience the same things insofar as the words that we use to describe these experiences match.

Actually, hearing also takes place according to detection by discrete measuring apparatuses sensitive to different frequencies in the cochlea.

Chronon
November 11th, 2009, 08:51 PM
sure, but what if the color "circle" was supposed to be square?

EDIT: Or even we havent completed the color circle yet?

EDIT 2: and maybe its not even a infinitive loop?

EDIT 3: there are many "what if", this color quest may seem meaningless because why do we need an extra color? Remeber what Einstein said! You got to prove..(uh, nevermind)

It doesn't matter if it's a square, you still won't find a new angle.

Also, your program has no knowledge of what a color is. It is only manipulating numbers and providing output according to logic that you dictate to it. In order to produce something that you would recognize as a color you must pass the output from the program to a suitable rendering device.

I could certainly write a program that "claims" to have found a new color. To verify this you would need to render the output and verify it yourself.

The point is that there's plenty of light that we can't see. However, color describes a human experience that arises as a result of how your nervous system processes electrical signals in your brain. Light that you can't see does not create electrical patterns in your brain and so you can have no experience of color for such light.

As I said before, if you're looking for a new color then in your imagination may be the best place to find it. Who is to say what you can experience in your imagination? However, I don't think you will ever find an object that you can show another person that has a new color.

markbuntu
November 11th, 2009, 11:29 PM
A color wheel may represent 16 million colors but we percieve more than just the color of a color.

We must also consider the opacity/transparency of color. There is a threshold of transparency where color seems to disappear from our view but is still measurably there. Even black can be transparent as we can see when looking up at the nght sky.

Color also has depth and dimension. Looking through a wide beam of red light is different in our perception than seeing a thin line of the same color drawn on the same background. If you draw concentric circles of colors starting with red to violet the circles will receed either inward or outward depending on which color is in the center. This is not an illusion, it is how we perceive color.

rattasongw
November 11th, 2009, 11:36 PM
the newest colour name is 'huderoshokopo'
i invent it by myself.hope u get satisfied.

forrestcupp
November 11th, 2009, 11:37 PM
That seems like a very big "if" to me. The fact of the matter is, the signals from your eyes pass through a lot of signal conditioning stages before your conscious mind gets access to them. You do not know the nature of that signal processing and there's little evidence that the signals always get conditioned in the same way. So, assuming that your nervous system responds in exactly the same way when light of a certain wavelength strikes your retina seems like an unwarranted assumption to me.I'm wearing a shirt that is a brownish orange color. Every time I look at that shirt, it is always the same color. Every time I look at anything familiar it is always the same color, unless it has been affected by some outside force. That's pretty good evidence to me.


The problem in the present situation is that color is an experience that we have. Colors can be described as labels for ranges of wavelength that we perceive as qualitatively similar. (It's actually more correct to say that you see red light than light at 700 nm, since you don't know the specific wavelength without measuring it.) It's not meaningful to ask about the color of wavelengths that we can't see. Light that we cannot see does not belong to the set of things that we can label with the property of color.I agree with you here. There's no point in trying to come up with colors we can't see.


sure, but what if the color "circle" was supposed to be square?

EDIT: Or even we havent completed the color circle yet?

EDIT 2: and maybe its not even a infinitive loop?

EDIT 3: there are many "what if", this color quest may seem meaningless because why do we need an extra color? Remeber what Einstein said! You got to prove..(uh, nevermind)
What we've been trying to say is that we already know the entire range of colors that are visible to the human eye. There's nothing left to discover because we already know our range. Have you ever heard of ROY G. BIV? Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo, Violet. Those colors and the millions of hues and shades in between are the only colors we can possibly see.

We even already know the "colors" outside what we can see. To the left of red on the spectrum is infra red, x-rays, and gamma rays. To the right of violet is ultra violet, radar, FM waves, TV waves, shortwave, and AM waves. We can't see them, but we can experience them, and we already know about them.

But we've been throwing a wet blanket on what should be a good imaginative conversation. It would be cool if we could experience a color we've never seen before.

benj1
November 12th, 2009, 12:35 AM
We must also consider the opacity/transparency of color. There is a threshold of transparency where color seems to disappear from our view but is still measurably there. Even black can be transparent as we can see when looking up at the nght sky.


erm black isn't technically scientifically a colour, its an absence of colour.

Chronon
November 12th, 2009, 01:13 AM
A color wheel may represent 16 million colors but we percieve more than just the color of a color.

We must also consider the opacity/transparency of color. There is a threshold of transparency where color seems to disappear from our view but is still measurably there. Even black can be transparent as we can see when looking up at the nght sky.
I'm not sure if you're talking about objects fading into the background or not here.



Color also has depth and dimension. Looking through a wide beam of red light is different in our perception than seeing a thin line of the same color drawn on the same background. If you draw concentric circles of colors starting with red to violet the circles will receed either inward or outward depending on which color is in the center. This is not an illusion, it is how we perceive color.

Good points. This is a good example of the post-processing that gets done on the raw signal before our conscious minds get access to it. Our brains also tend to add contrast.

jwbrase
November 12th, 2009, 01:35 AM
If you take color as a perceptual phenomenon, there still exist colors that nobody has ever seen before (except maybe under the influence of drugs). For example, the wavelengths that trigger the activation of green cones also trigger the activation of red and/or blue cones. So there are colors that are perceptually possible to see (for example, the color associated with only the green cones and nothing else being triggered), but physically impossible to see (because no wavelength of light is capable of triggering only green cones and nothing else). If you could figure out a way of triggering combinations of cone firing that aren't consistent with any actual wavelength, you could see these "impossible" colors, for example, the color associated with only green cones firing.

Chronon
November 12th, 2009, 01:36 AM
We even already know the "colors" outside what we can see. To the left of red on the spectrum is infra red, x-rays, and gamma rays. To the right of violet is ultra violet, radar, FM waves, TV waves, shortwave, and AM waves. We can't see them, but we can experience them, and we already know about them.

But we've been throwing a wet blanket on what should be a good imaginative conversation. It would be cool if we could experience a color we've never seen before.

Clarification: From long to short wavelengths it goes
Radio, Microwave, Infrared, ROYGBIV, Ultraviolet, X-ray, Gamma ray

Who knows what can be experienced internally? The constraints I have been talking about have a lot to do with consensus reality. I cannot comment on what someone else experiences internally. I can only compare my observations with theirs and point out that the idea of colors for light that are not visible to me does not make sense. Some people experience synaesthesia. It is foolish for me to claim that they don't taste sounds (or see their colors, etc.). I can only say that this description is not meaningful for me.

Perhaps in the future, artificial detectors (such as for blind people) will be more widespread and the idea of the color of infrared radiation will make more sense to more people.

forrestcupp
November 12th, 2009, 02:07 PM
If you could figure out a way of triggering combinations of cone firing that aren't consistent with any actual wavelength, you could see these "impossible" colors, for example, the color associated with only green cones firing.Interesting. So it's really impossible to have a green that is so pure that it only triggers the green cones?


Clarification: From long to short wavelengths it goes
Radio, Microwave, Infrared, ROYGBIV, Ultraviolet, X-ray, Gamma rayRight. I had it backwards. Sorry.

But my point still stands that we already know about all of these frequencies of light waves, so there's nothing left to discover when it comes to colors.

jespdj
November 12th, 2009, 02:19 PM
Color vision (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_vision)

We humans have three kinds of cells in our eyes that can detect color, which roughly correspond to red, green and blue (that's why computer screens combine red, green and blue pixels to make colors - by mixing those three, they can mimic most colors that humans can see).

But there are other animals which have more complex or simpler color vision. Some birds for example have four kinds of color detecting cells instead of three, and some have only two (cows, cats and dogs - they can't see the difference between red and green). According to the page Dichromat (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dichromat) most mammals have only two color receptors, so we should consider ourselves lucky that we can see colors better than other mammals!

jwbrase
November 12th, 2009, 11:24 PM
Interesting. So it's really impossible to have a green that is so pure that it only triggers the green cones?

Yup.