What is colour?

A.R. Hanson,     National Physical Laboratory, UK


Colour is incredible! It is an important sense providing us with essential information about our world, but it is not simple. This chapter describes how we resolve light the way we do, through an attempt to create a space to contain all the colours that exist. Human colour vision is a sensation of three dimensions so the space will necessarily comprise three dimensions; however, as there are many uses of colour, several such spaces have been developed.

Key words



colour spaces

subtractive colour mixing

additive colour mixing

1.1 Introduction

Turning to dictionaries to answer the question ‘What is colour?’, the reader finds that in general it is defined ...

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