# Relationship between color and wavelength of absorbance

and/or reflection of light of specific wavelengths. White light consists of wavelengths ranging from nm to nm. When relationship between colors absorbed by a solution and The absorbance, A, of a sample is defined as follows. This is radiation in a frequency too high (wavelength too short) for us to detect with our eyes. We can detect and distinguish electromagnetic radiation between . The difference in energy between those levels, (the excited state and the color Thus, for instance, if violet light with wavelength of nm is absorbed, the.

But the reason I've left out indigo here is because this allows us to better see a color wheel.

## The Relationship Between UV-VIS Absorption and Structure of Organic Compounds

Isaac Newton was the first to represent a color wheel, and you get a color wheel by taking the violet and moving it over here and taking the red and moving it over here, and so you put the violet right next to the red and so you get a color wheel.

It's useful to look at a color wheel, because it allows you to see the relationship between complementary colors, for example, if I wanted to know the complementary color for red, all I have to do is look across on my color wheel and I can see that the complementary color is green.

The complementary color for violet, if I look directly across, that would be yellow, and then finally, the complementary color for blue would be orange, and this is useful because it allows you to think about why things appear to be a certain color. For example, if I look at this orange sheet of paper here, and we try to understand why this sheet of paper is orange, we know that white light consists of all these different wavelengths, we know white light consists of all the different colors of the rainbow here.

### Absorption in the visible region (video) | Khan Academy

We could simplify that even further and we could think about white light being two complementary colors, so we can say oh, okay, so this part consists of blue wavelengths of light and then on the right here, this part of the color wheel consists of orange wavelengths of light and we can think about white light consisting of blue wavelengths and orange wavelengths so if we have white light coming in, here are the blue wavelengths of light, and then we have the orange wavelengths of light, so this is an oversimplified way to think about white light striking our orange object here.

So if the object absorbs the blue wavelengths of light, so we are absorbing the blue wavelengths of light therefore we are reflecting the orange wavelengths. So if we reflect the orange wavelengths of light and our eye happens to be right here, we see the object as being orange.

Our brains perceive the object as being orange because we are seeing the reflected orange light. And so that's how to think about why something appears to be a certain color. If I go back up here to beta carotene again, so I look and see where beta carotene is absorbing. Beta carotene is absorbing somewhere in the range of to nanometers and those are blue wavelengths of light, right, if I look at down here so to nanometers, we're absorbing the blue wavelengths of light. Therefore, we are reflecting the orange wavelengths.

If it absorbs light in the red and yellow region of the spectrum, it will have a blue color. Here is an example. Chlorophyll, the pigment that makes plants green, absorbs light in the red end of the spectrum and light in the blue end of the spectrum. A green leaf is green to us because the middle band of visible light is not absorbed and is instead reflected into our eyes. Our eyes have 3 types of specialized cells, called cone cells.

Each type of cone cell is sensitive to a range of frequencies. Below right is a graph of the wavelengths of light absorbed by each of these cells.

### Color and Absorption Spectroscopy

When a cone cell absorbs light in its range, it sends an electrical signal to the brain. The intensity of the signals from each of these 3 types of cells tells us the color of the light coming in. Each person may have cone cells that are more or less sensitive so our perception of color is not precise.

Instruments such as UV-visible spectrometers are precise and highly reproducible. They can also detect and quantify electromagnetic radiation with frequencies higher and lower than the human eye can perceive.