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Today, Dec 8: Review of • Exam:

material for the exam (chapters • Multiple choice questions;
9,10,&13) • Problems (2-3 per chapter);
2. Dec. 10: Exam #3 (exam scores• Information/preparation:
& preliminary grades will be http://www.colorado.edu/physics/phys1230/phys1230_fa08/Exams.htm
posted on Dec. 14); • Practicing problems;
3. Dec. 18: Final grades; • Reading Material;
• Solutions will be posted on the web
page soon after the exam;
Chapter 9: How we characterize colors: Hue,
Saturation, and Brightness (HSB)
• What they mean in terms of
intensity distribution curves?
• Hue is specified by the dominant
wavelength color in the intensity-
distribution curve
• Saturation is the purity of a color
(absence of other wavelengths).
• The pure spectral colors are the
most saturated
• Brightness refers to the sensation
of overall intensity of a color Brightness Hue Saturation
Bright white Orange Desaturatated
Grey Brown (same) orange + white
Black Blue Blue
The same color sensation can often be produced by 2 or
more different intensity distribution curves

• Here is an intensity distribution

curve which gives us the sensation
of yellow
• Here is a different intensity
distribution curve which also gives
us the same sensation of yellow
• The two colors described by the
two different intenstiy curves are
called metamers
Hue, Saturation and Brightness (HSB):
One way to use 3 numbers to specify a color
instead of using an intensity-distribution curve
• Color tree (e.g. Fig. 9.5 in book)
• Moving up the tree increases
the lightness of a color
• Moving around a circle of given

radius changes the hue of a
• Moving along a radius of a
circle changes the saturation saturation
(vividness) of a color
• These three coordinates can be
described in terms of three
• Photoshop: uses H, S and B
Red, green and blue (RGB):
RGB is another way to use 3 numbers to specify a color
instead of using an intensity-distribution curve or HSB
• In addition to using Hue, Saturation and • Demonstrate with Physics 2000
Brightness (HSB);
• Many (but not all) colors can be described in http://www.colorado.edu/physics/2000/tv
terms of the relative intensities of a light mixture
of a certain wavelength red, wavelength green
and wavelength blue lights
• 650-nm red
• 530-nm green
• 460-nm blue
• These are called the additive primaries yellow
• The mixing of the additive primaries is called 530-nm green 650-nm red
additive mixing
• Additive mixing is usually done by mixing
primary color lights with different intensities but magenta
there are other ways to be discussed later

460-nm blue
Complementary additive colors
• Definition of complementary color (for
additive mixtures):
• The complement of a color is a second
• When the second color is additively
mixed to the first, the result is white. yellow
• Blue & yellow are complementary green red
B + Y = W. white
• Green & magenta are complementary
cyan magenta
• Cyan and red are complementary
• Magenta is not a wavelength color— it blue
is not in the rainbow
• There is at most one wavelength
complementary color for each
wavelength color (Fig 9.9)
Additive mixing of colored light

Blue added to Green added to Red added to

green = cyan. red = yellow. blue = magenta.
Complementary colored lights
(additive mixing)

Blue (primary) Green (primary) Red (primary)

and yellow. and magenta. and cyan.
Chromaticity diagrams: Yet another way to represent
colors by (3) numbers
• The chromaticity diagram is in many
ways similar to a color tree
• A chromaticity diagram has a fixed
brightness or lightness for all colors less saturated colors
• Wavelength colors are on the horseshoe
rim but non-wavelength colors like saturated
magenta are on the flat part of the rim wavelength
• Inside are the less saturated colors,
including white at the interior colors

Using the chromaticity diagram to identify colors

• The numbers that we use to identify a

color are its x-value and y-value inside
the diagram and a z-value to indicate its
brightness or lightness
• x and y specify the chromaticity of a
• Example: Apple pickers are told around
the country that certain apples are best
picked when they are a certaim red (see
black dot)
• Since the chromaticity diagram is a world
standard the company can tell its
employees to pick when the apples have
• x = 0.57
• y = 0.28
• The "purest" white is at x = 0.33 and y =
• Chromaticity diagram can be related to
colors in Photoshop
Using the chromaticity diagram to understand the
result of additive mixing of colors
• An additive mixture of two wavelength Note — this works for adding
colors lies along the line joining them two colors in middle also!
• Example: The colors seen by mixing
700 nm red and 500 nm green lie along
the line shown
• Where along the line is the color of the
• Answer depends on the relative
intensities of the 700 nm red and the
500 nm green.
• Here is what you get when the green is
much more intense than the red (a
• Here is what you get when the red is
much more intense than the green (a
• Here is what you get when the red is
slightly more intense than the green (a
Using the chromaticity diagram to understand
complementary colors

• The complement to any

wavelength color on the edge of
the chromaticity diagram is
obtained by drawing a straight
line from that color through
white to the other edge of the
• Example: The complement to
700 nm red is 490 nm cyan
• Example: The complement to
green is magenta - a non-
wavelength color
Using the chromaticity diagram to find the dominant
hue of a color in the interior of the diagram
• To find the dominant hue of the
color indicated by the black dot
• Draw st. line from white
through the point to get
dominant wavelength, and
hence, hue (547 nm green)
• Works because additive mixture
of white with a fully-saturated
(wavelength) color gives the
desaturated color of the original
What is partitive

• Partitive mixing is another

kind of additive color mixing
but not achieved by
superimposing colored
• Instead, it works by putting
small patches of colors next
to each other.
• From a distance these
colors mix just as though
they were colored lights
superimposed on each
• Examples:
• Seurat pointillism
• Color TV and computer
screens (Physics 2000)
• Photoshop example
A colored filter subtracts
colors by absorption.

Incident white light Cyan Yellow Only green

filter subtracts filter subtracts gets
red blue through
A colored filter subtracts certain
colors by absorption and transmits
the rest

Incident white light Magenta Cyan Only blue

filter subtracts filter subtracts gets
green red through
A colored filter subtracts
colors by absorption.

Incident white light Magenta Yellow Only red

filter subtracts filter subtracts gets
green blue through
What is the effect of combining (sandwiching)
different colored filters together?
• Rules for combining the
subtractive primaries, cyan,
yellow and magenta:
• White light passed through a cyan yellow
cyan filter plus a magenta
filter appears blue
• White light passed through a
yellow filter plus a magenta
filter appears red
• White light passed through a magenta
yellow filter plus a cyan
filter appears green
• Why?
Colored surfaces subtract certain
colors by absorbing them, while
reflecting others
White in White in
Magenta out Green out

Magenta surface Green surface

absorbs (subtracts) absorbs (subtracts)
green. red and blue (magenta).
Green light on a Magenta light on a
magenta surface green surface
appears colorless appears colorless
because green is because magenta is
absorbed absorbed
Magenta in
Green in

lo r lor
o co
N oc o

Magenta surface Green surface

absorbs (subtracts) absorbs (subtracts)
green. red and blue (magenta).
When looking at a colored object in a colored light
source what is the resulting color?
• Rule: Multiply the intensity- Cool white fluorescent bulb
distribution of the light source Magenta shirt
by the reflectance of the
colored object to get the this number
intensity distribution of the the This number times
illuminated object
• Example: Look at a magenta
shirt in reflected light from a
Cool White fluorescent tube.
• It appears grey (colorless) How the shirt
Confirm by multiplying the appears in this light
intensity distribution curve by
the reflectance curve to get the equals this number
new intensity distribution You multiply the two y-values
curve for the reflected light at each x to get the new curve
• Left: Halftone dots.
• Right: How the human eye would
see this sort of arrangement from
a sufficient distance or when they
are small.
• Resolution: measured in
lines per inch (lpi) or dots per
inch (dpi); for example, Laser
Printer (600dpi)
Color halftoning

Paper beneath

Three examples of color halftoning with CMYK separations. From left to right: The
cyan separation, the magenta separation, the yellow separation, the black separation,
the combined halftone pattern and finally how the human eye would observe the
combined halftone pattern from a sufficient distance.
Color Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs)
Chapter 10: We have three different kinds of cones whose
responses are mainly at short, intermediate and long
• s-cones absorb short wavelength light best,
with peak response at 450 nm (blue)
• L-cones absorb long wavelength light best,
with peak response at 580 nm (red) L-cones
• i-cones absorb intermediate wavelengths s-cones
best, with peak response at 540 nm (green)
• Light at any wavelength in the visual
spectrum from 400 to 700 nm will excite
these 3 types of cones to a degree depending Spectral response of cones in typical human eye
on the intensity at each wavelength.

relative response
• Our perception of which color we are seeing
(color sensation) is determined by how
much S, i and L resonse occurs to light of a
particular intensity distribution.
Rule: To get the overall response of each type of
cone, multiply the intensity of the light at each
wavelength by the response of the cone at that
wavelength and then add together all of the
products for all of the wavenumbers in the
intensity distribution
Light color Brightness S-cone r esponse I-cone r esponse L-cone response
46 0 nm blue 1 60 5 2
Examples of two different ways we see white
57 5 nm yellow 1.66
Mixtur e ( perceived as white)
60 + 0 = 6 0
1.66 x 33
5+1.66 x 33 = 60
1.66 x 35
2+1.66 x 35 = 60

• Our sensation of color depends on how much total s, i Spectral response of cones in typical human eye
& L cone response occurs due to a light intensity-

relative response
• Multiply the intensity distribution curve by each
response curve to determine how much total S, i,
and L response occurs
• We experience the sensation white when we have
equal total s, i & L responses
• There are many ways this can occur!!
• E.g., when broadband light enters our eye
• Another way to experience white is by viewing a
mixture of blue and yellow
• E.g., 460 nm blue of intensity 1 and 575 nm
yellow of intensity 1.66
• The blue excites mainly s-cones but also a 1.66 575 nm yellow
bit of i-cones and a bit of L-cones
460 nm blue of of intensity 1.66
intensity 1
• The yellow excites i-cones and (slightly
more) L-cones but no s-cones
• The result is an equal response of s-cones,
i-cones and L-cones (details)
S-cone response
Light color Brightness I-cone response L-cone response

How does a normal

530 nm green 1 person
negligiblesee yellow
41 when only 28red
650 nm red and2.15
green lights are superimposed?
negligible 2.15 x 2 2.15 x 9
Mixture (perceived as yellow ) negligible 41 +2.15 x 2 =45 28 +2.15 x 9 =47
Spectral response of cones in typical human eye
575 nm yellow 1.35 negligible 1.35 x 33 = 45 1.35 x 35 = 47
• Our sensation of yellow depends on a special s, i &

relative response
L cone response
• We experience the sensation yellow when 575 nm
light reaches our eyes
• What really gives us the sensation of yellow is
the almost equal response of i and L cones
together with no s-cones!!
• Another way to experience yellow is by seeing
overlapping red & green lights
• E.g., 530 nm green of intensity 1 and 650
nm red of intensity 2.15
• The green excites mainly i-cones but also
L-cones, while the red excites mainly L- 2.15 650 nm red
575 nm yellow of intensity
cones but also i-cones of intensity 1.35 2.15
• The total respone of s & i-cones due to the 530 nm green
spectral green and red is the same as the 1 of intensity 1
total response due to spectral yellow
• In general need 3 wavelength lights to mix to
any color
We can verify color naming of hues in terms of the
psychological primaries on the chromaticity diagram
All of the hues can be named qualitatively
by how much green, red, blue or yellow is
"in" them
• We don't need orange, purple or pink:
• orange can be thought of as yellow-red
• purple can be thought of as red-blue
Greenness &
• pink has the same hue as red but differs only in yellowness
We can break up the diagram into 4
different regions by drawing two lines
whose endpoints are the psychological Gr
primary hues een
• The endpoints of the yellow line are 580 nm blu ness Redness &
"unique" yellow and 475 nm "unique" blue ene &
ss yellowness
• One endpoint of the red line is 500 nm
"unique" green and the other is "red" (not
unique or spectral - really more like e d n e ss &
magenta lu e n ess
What is meant by the opponent nature of red vs green
(r-g) perception and of yellow vs blue (y-b) perception.
• Viewing a progression of colors in
the direction of the yellow line from
475 nm blue towards 580 nm yellow,
we see more yellowness of each color
and less blueness. Greenness &
• We call this perception our y-b yellowness
• Yellow & blue are opponents
• Moving parallel to the red line from r-g
500 nm green towards nonspectral Gr
red we see more redness in each color blu ness Redness &
and less greenness. ene &
ss yellowness
• We call this perception our r-g

e d n e ss &
• Red and green are opponents R
lu e n ess
• The lines cross at white, where both b
y-b & r-g are neutralized
How might the three types of cones be "wired" to neural cells to
account for our perception of hues in terms of two opponent
pairs of psychological primaries r-g and y-b?
• The 3 kinds of cones are related to r-g and y-b by
the way they are connected to neural cells (such as
ganglion cells) s-cone i-cone L-cone
• Cones of each kind are attached to 3 different
neural cells which control the two chromatic
channels, y-b and r-g, and the white vs black
channel called the achromatic channel (lightness)
• "wiring" is the following:
• When light falls on the L-cones they tell all 3
neural cells to increase the electrical signal they
send to the brain
• When light falls on the i-cones they tell the r-g
channel cell to decrease (inhibit) its signal but tell
the other cells to increase their signal
• When light falls on the s-cones they tell the y-b − ++ + −+ + ++
channel cell to decrease (inhibit) its signal but tell neural cell neural cell neural cell
the other cells to increse their signal for y-b for r-g for w-blk
chromatic chromatic achromatic
channel channel channel

Electrical signal to brain

How can this "wiring" work to produce the chromatic
• The neural cell for the y-b chromatic
channel has its signal s-cone i-cone L-cone
• inhibited when (bluE) light excites the s-
• enhanced when light excites the i & L cones

• The neural cell for the r-g chromatic
channel has its signal
• inhibited when (green) light falls on the i-
• enhanced when light excites the s and L
− ++ + −+ + ++
neural cell neural cell neural cell
INTERPRETED AS MAGENTA for y-b for r-g for w-blk
(Psychological red) chromatic chromatic achromatic
• The neural cell for the achromatic channel has channel channel channel
its signal enhanced when light excites any of the
Electrical signal to brain
Systematic description of
color-blindness (no need to
memorize terminology)
• Monochromacy (can match any colored light
with any 1 spectral light by adjusting
intensity) • Anomalous trichromacy (can match any
• Either has no cones (rod monochromat) colored light with 3 spectral lights of
different intensities as in normal vision,
or has only 1 of the 3 types of cones
but still have color perception problems)
working (cone monochromat).
• Protanomaly
• Sees ony whites, greys, blacks, no hues
• Shifted L-cone response curve
• Dichromacy (can match any colored light
• Deuteranomaly (most common)
with 2 spectral lights of different intensities of
• Shifted i-cone response curve
(rather than the normal 3)
• Confusion between red and green.
• L-cone function lacking = protanopia
• Tritanomaly
• i-cone function lacking = deuteranopia • Yellow-blue problems: probably
• s-cone function lacking = tritanopia defective s-cones
• no y-b channel but all 3 cones OK = • Neuteranomaly
tetartanopia • ineffective r-g channel
Receptive field of a double-opponent
cell of the r-g type
• 2 different ways to INCREASE the • Electrical signal to brain from ganglion
signal the ganglion cell sends to brain cell is at ambient level when no light is
• Red light falling on cones in center on center or surround
of receptive field attached to • When signal to brain is INCREASEDwe
ganglion cell interpret that as red
• Green light on surround • When signal to brain is decreased we
• 2 different ways to decrease the interpret that as green
signal the ganglion cell sends to the
• Red light on surround
signal to brain
• Green light on center
We can summarize this by just showing the center &
surround of the receptive field and indicating the effect of
red (R) and green (G) on each
• A double-opponent cell differs from a
single opponent cell
• In both of them R in the center
increases the signal
• In a single-opponent cell G in surround
would inhibit signal, whereas in
double-opponent cell G enhances
• In a double-opponent cell
• R in center enhances signal (ganglion
cell signals red)
• G in surround enhances signal
(ganglion cell signals red)
• R in surround inhibits signal Fictional cell real cell
(ganglion cell signals green)
• G in center inhibits signal (ganglion
cell signals green)
Here is an illustration of the effect of red or green light
falling in various combinations on the center or
surround of a double-opponent r-g cell

Strongest Weakest No change in No change in

signal signal signal (color signal (color
(interpreted (interpreted not noticed) not noticed)
as red) as green)

Note, you would Note, you would

still "see" red if still "see" green
the center were if the center
grey! were grey!
y-b double-opponent receptive fields and cells work the
same way

Strongest Weakest No change in No change in

signal signal signal (color signal (color
(interpreted (interpreted not noticed) not noticed)
as yellow) as blue)

Note, you would Note, you would
still "see" yellow still "see" blue if y+b-
if the center the center were
were grey! grey!
Here is an optical illusion which can be explained by
double-opponent retinal fields and cells

• Look at the grey squares in

your peripheral vision
• Does the grey square
surrounded by yellow appear to
take on a tint?
• What color is it?
• Repeat for the grey squares
surrounded by
• Blue
• Green
• Red (pink)
Color constancy depends on double-
opponent processing
• Color constancy means we see the
proper colors of a picture or scene or
object relatively correctly even though
the overall illumination may change
its color
• This is because our double-opponent
No change in No change in
receptiive fields compare neighboring signal (color signal (color
colors and are not very sensitive to an not noticed) not noticed)
overall change in color
• Color constancy developed in the
evolution of mankind so that we could
recognize colorful things in broad
daylight, late afternoon, and early
Illustration of how the three opponency channels work
in your perception of the design below
• Here are the enhanced edges resulting
from your y-b chromatic channel
• Note the edges that separate a yellowish
from a bluish color are enhanced the most
• Here are the enhanced edges resulting
from your r-g chromatic channel
• Note the edges that separate a reddish from
a greenish color are enhanced the most
• Here are the enhanced edges resulting
from your wt-blk achromatic channel
• Compare with the way a photocopy
machine would see the design
Chapter 13: What can a light wave do when it
encounters matter?

• Be TRANSMITTED • A light wave shining on

 laser aimed at water or glass molecules in the air or plastic or
• Be REFLECTED other “transparent” materials
 specular reflection of light by a can be
mirror • SCATTERED
 diffuse reflection of the light in
 Light ray moves over to the side in
this room off all the other students
all directions rather than forward,
 reflection is re-radiation of light
backward or being absorbed.
by the electrons in the reflecting
material  Intensity of the scattered light can
depend on wavelength
 Cyan light shining on a red apple
is absorbed by electrons in the
What is Rayleigh scattering?
(or why is the sky blue)
• The shorter the wavelength, the more
light is scattered Think of white light
 blue is scattered more than red. from sun as a mixture
 this is why the sky is blue and of R, G and B
sunsets are red. (Fig. 13.1)
 Dust or smoke enhances red look of Blue is scattered the
the sun by providing more scattering most so sky looks
blue when we look
• Larger particles scatter red as well as away from the sun
blue and hence look white.
 Clouds; For same reason sun
 Milk; looks yellow (red +
 Colloidal suspensions green)

More atmosphere
allows next shortest
wavelengths (green)
to scatter so sunset
looks red
What is polarized light?

• Light is polarized if the waveform and

electric force field arrows remains in the Looking at ray "head-on" see
same plane green arrows up & down
 The (green) electric force arrows must
always be perpendicular to the ray
• This is a light ray traveling in the z- y
direction and polarized in the y- y
direction z
• Here is a light ray traveling in the same z
direction but polarized in the x-direction x
• We will visualize the polarization in the x
x-y plane, looking at rays head-on
 The green force arrows point up and
down or left and right, stacked up behind y
 Here is the convention for visualizing
vertical and horizontal polarization
What is unpolarized light?

• For unpolarized light the

plane of polarization keeps electric force arrows
jumping around jump around while
remaining perpen-
 But the electric force field dicular to the ray
arrows remain perpendicular to wave travels in
the ray (direction of travel of z-direction
the wave) z
 We visualize this in the x-y
plane (looking into the ray) as
shown at right x
• The many crossed double y
sided arrows are the symbol
for unpolarized light
• See Physics 2000
When unpolarized light reflects off a horizontal surface
(such as water or beach) near a special angle, the reflected
light is polarized in the horizontal direction
 The special angle of incidence is – The second polarization cannot be
where the refracted ray and reflected
ray are perpendicular to each other sustained in the reflected ray because
the force arrows would be parallel to
 This is called Brewster's angle that ray (impossible for a light ray)
 To understand, imagine the electric – Hence, only the horizontal polarization
force arrows of the incident
survives in the reflected ray
unpolarized light to be decomposed
into two perpendicular polariza-
• the first polarization is horizontal
(force arrows are parallel to the flat
reflecting horizontal surface and
perpendicular to the ray)
• in the 2nd (Fig. 13.5), the arrows are
perpendicular to both the ray and
the horizontal force arrows
Some material from Chapter #8
How do 3D
movies use
polaroid filters?