Do Hue See Yellow?

Conspiracies again. Dash off ‘Lemon’ on your search engine’s search bar. A decent spindle shaped inside-out torus with a hue of yellow will appear in the images column. A lemon. The crux? The lemon you’re admiring is not yellow, instead it is a mixture of Red, Green & Blue.

Why? Your gadget is intelligent enough only to display red, green and blue and play around with this triple to fabricate hues of other fascinating colours. If you are still wondering, grab a magnifying lens and zoom into the screen of any gadget. You will observe pixels, tons of them. Each pixel has varying concentrations of RGB (red, green, blue) and thus it assumes one of the colours from the spectrum. Appropriate concentrations of red and green fuse to produce yellow. Similarly are other colours born on the screen.

Microscope image of an iPhone screen. (Credit)
But, shouldn’t we just see green and red, instead of yellow, similar to the image above? No. This image is magnified to an incredible extent. As it miniaturizes to the original, the screen triumphs outwitting our brain. Our eyes are convinced that the light emitted is yellow because the pixels are incredibly tiny to be interpreted by its constituents.

Check out Matt Parker’s marvelous method of cracking a digital photo open, scraping out all of the numbers and putting these pixels into the cells of an Excel spreadsheet.

Unless you’re glad with the fake yellow, ‘hue’ will have to take the trouble of distinguishing the other ten million species of the visible spectrum.

~ Shamoil Khomosi


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