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Subtraction of colour lights by secondary filters

White screen

White light

Magenta filter

Blue filter

Applying the Principle of Subtraction of Coloured Lights

The colour of an opaque (legap) object depends on the colour of the light that it reflects
An object of a primary colour (red, blue and green) only reflects light of the same colour. A blue object only reflects blue light. Other coloured lights are absorbed.

An object of a secondary colour (yellow, magenta and cyan) reflects light of the same colour and the primary colours that form it.
A magenta object reflects magenta, red and blue lights.

A white object appears white in white light because a white objects reflects all colours. No coloured lights are absorbed.

A black object appears black because all colours are absorbed by it. No coloured lights are reflected.

Absorption of light by coloured objects is based on the principle of subtraction of coloured lights.
The colour of an object depends on a) the colour of the light that strikes (kena pada) it b) the colours of the light absorbed c) the colour of the light reflected.


A yellow object reflects yellow, red and green lights. Therefore, no coloured lights are reflected from the blue lights Hence, the yellow object appears black in blue lights


Yellow light consists of yellow light and the colour constituents that form it, red and green.

Only green lights is reflected by the object.

Hence, the green object appears green in yellow lights


A cyan object reflects cyan, green and blue lights. Therefore, green lights is reflected. Hence, the cyan object appears green.

Function of rod cells and cone cells in the eye

The retina contains two types of cell that are sensitive to light stimulus (rangsangan), namely rod cells and cone cells. The rod cell is sensitive to dim light especially at night. It is not sensitive to colour and only a black and white image is produced.

The cone cell is sensitive to bright light and give colour vision.

Cones consists of three types of cells in which each types is only sensitive to one primary colour.
Other colours which can be seen are the products of mixing the three colours.

If the light that enters the eye only stimulates the cone cell which is sensitive to red light, the brain receives a signal from that cone and interprets the light receives as red.
If cyan light enters the eye, the cyan light will stimulates the cone cells which are sensitive to green light and blue light to be interpreted as cyan.

7.18 Discussion Activity (pg 123) 7.19 Thinking Activity (pg 124) 7.20 Research Activity (pg 124)

Science corridor
Colour blindness is an illness caused by defective (kecacatan) cone cells. Most colour blind people cannot differentiate between the red and green colours.


Color of Light (Cont.)

Color of Objects
White light is the presence of ALL the colors of the visible spectrum. Black objects absorb ALL the colors and no light is reflected back.

2000 Microsoft Clip Gallery

Color of Light (Cont.)

2000 Microsoft Clip Gallery

Primary Colors of Light

Three colors that can be mixed to produce any other colored light Red + blue + green = white light

Complimentary Colors of Light

Two complimentary colors combine to make white light-Magenta,Cyan,Yellow

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