Alternate Theory of Color Perception

Szeszol, Jim Naperville Central H.S.

Objective: To observe an alternative theory of color perception. Apparatus needed: A) Color wheel(s), wooden safety matches (for spindles), masking tape. B) Black and white slide positives. Procedure: A) Activity - assemble color wheel(s) and spin; observe colors in daylight and under fluorescent light. Have students form a possible theory. B) Land projections - two black and white slides (positives) are prepared and projected as outlined in "The Physics Teacher," March 1968, p. 129. Full color images, not possible with Newtonian theory, are produced. Discussion: Edwin Land's (of the Polaroid Land Corp.) "Retinex Theory" states that the eye processes black and white gray scales using three photoreceptors. Each photoreceptor processes the signals differently and then combines the processed information to produce colored images in the brain. References: Land, Edwin H. "Experiments in Color Vision," Scientific American,
May 1959.
Land, Edwin H. "The Retinex," American Scientist, 52, 1964.
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