Spectral Reflectance

If light that contains only short wavelenghts (this kind of light appears blue or violet) illuminates a piece of paper that reflects only long wavelengths (i.e., red paper) that paper would appear black. No light would be reflected from it. Paper that appears red does so because it absorbs all wavelengths except red.

White paper appears white when light from the sun or a light bulb illuminates it because white paper reflects most of the visible wavelengths of the spectrum.

However, paper, we ordinarily call white, would not necessarily appear white under all illuminations. For example, if a red spot light illuminates a piece of white paper that paper will appear red. If you think about it, you already know this. For example, a screen on which movies or slides are projected is usually white. Yet, we see a bevy of colors that make up the images projected on the screen.

Visual Stimulus

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