The Dimensions of Color

Discussions about the possibility of consciousness, free will, spirits, deities, religions and so on, and how these might interact with time travel, the Big Bang, many worlds and so on.

The Dimensions of Color

Postby anderscolingustafson » Tue May 08, 2012 4:32 am

I was just thinking about how most humans see in three basic colors which are red, green, and blue so we see in three dimensions of color because we are trichromats and we see all other colors by combining red, green, and blue in different ratios and amounts. This means we see three dimensions of color and the best way to represent the colors we see would be through a color cube. Each color that we see has a coordinate along the red, green, and blue axis. White would be the maximum coordinate along the red green and blue axis while black would be the minimum along all the axes.

Dichromate see two dimensions of color which are red and blue so a person who is red green color blind sees two dimensions of color because all the colors a dichromate sees can only be produced by combining green, and blue. The colors that a dichromate sees would be best represented by a square with each color on a green, blue as a blue, green corordimant.

Monochromates can only see in one dimension of color as they can only see how bright something is but not what wavelength of light something is. The way monochrates see would be on a line with only shades between black and white.

Some species such as some birds and reptiles can see up to four basic colors red, green, blue, and some ultra violet. Tetrachromates can see up to four dimensions of color as they can see any color that can be produced by combining red, green, blue, and ultra violet so the way they see color would be best represented by a teserect with each color on a red, green, blue, ultra violet coordinate.

So by adding just one additive primary color it is possible to increase the number of colors exponentially because the new number of colors is the number of old colors times the number of brightness’s of the new additive primary colors. So if we could see a fourth primary color we could see many more secondary colors.
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Re: The Dimensions of Color

Postby wendy » Wed May 09, 2012 7:20 am

The colours are arranged by 1/time, so they have the same dimension as time.

The number of colours depends on the type of colour-cells at the back of the eye. In humans, this is typically three, but can vary from two to four. Tetrachromatic people see what we see as colour-pleasing as disturbing as we would see a colour-blind person's attempt in the same area.
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Re: The Dimensions of Color

Postby Teragon » Tue Aug 11, 2015 10:07 am

I'd suggest a different describtion of "color space", more precisely different coordinate system for that space. The motivation is that it corresponds more closely to our color perception and I think it's aesthetically more appealing. I mean we don't perceive white as a mixture of equal parts of red, green and blue.

Adopting spherical coordinates, we've got an azimuth angle describing the hue, expressing that color hues align in a closed circle and are characterized by only one number. The polar angle descripes the lightness or value of the color, ranging between the extrems of pure light and total darkness. Quite a relative coordinate in our perception. The radial coordinate descripes the croma of the colors. The smaller the croma, the smaller the change in our perceived color if hue changes by an equal angle. Hue is not defined for the central axis in our perception and in the coordinate system. All the colors align on a sphere.


There is also a drawback of this color scheme, namly that different colors reach their maximum saturation at different values, so if the value is stricktly defined as our perception of lightness, colors do not lie on a sphere anymore:


Wendy, you're confusiong "color" (qualia) with "electromagnetic wave" (physical aspect).
What is deep in our world is superficial in higher dimensions.
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Re: The Dimensions of Color

Postby PatrickPowers » Thu Jan 07, 2016 1:48 pm

The red-green-blue color scheme was discovered by James Clerk Maxwell of Maxwell's equations fame. He combined swatches of red, green, and blue on a disc with an axle. A rope was wrapped around the axle and pulled to rotate the disc. A color would be seen. Red, green, and blue combined produces white. He also projected the first color image, as seen on your computer screen.

The 3D color chart isn't a cube, so the 4D chart wouldn't be a hypercube. The combinations of colors are not linear.
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