Detail

show:room Highlight

White: More than a colour

White is not a colour in the true sense of the word because white is not a spectral colour. It is a mixture of all colours visible to the human eye.

White is the brightest of all colours, but actually it isn't one. Humans can only see white, when a material reflects light in a way that all three cones in the retina of the eye are stimulated equally and with sufficiently high intensity. The colour stimulation for the perception of white requires all three colour stimulus specifications to be equal. And due to this requirement, we describe the colour as "achromatic

Using a prism, we’re able to split white light into its constituent spectrum of colours. When white light is broken, the wavelengths are refracted differently (due to their dispersion) and humans can then see the spectral colours; violet, blue, green, yellow and red.