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Transcript:​ ​“What is color in science and art?”

Student ’22 (Biochemistry), Changzhe ’19 (Physics and Studio Art), Honor ’21 (Studio Art)

Student ’22​:

I think, to describe color in terms of Chemistry, we usually think about it as molecules or atoms.


​In Physics, I think we look at it through how light reflects on one object.


I guess I would describe color in art as the next step beyond just portraying something that you see visually.


​I think color in art kind of carries a lot more meanings to it.


Let’s say a vase, you know, and you add red, that could have a very different feeling than if it were blue, purple, or green. So yeah, that’s how I would describe color in art.

Transcript:​ ​“Why might people see Elsie’s dress as white?”

Carissa ’21 (Molecular Biology), CJ ’20 (Physics), Honor ’21 (Studio Art)


I think people see Elsie’s dress as white partly from the title. I think it’s in Psychology that I learned about this, where you accept the information you’re given. It introduces a bias automatically, and so that’s how you perceive it because of the title.


I would say that we see it more of as just one color as that kind of white-ish color just because our eyes aren’t able to pick up on each different pixel that is created in the image. We kind of just morph everything together because there’s just so much information coming in.


And it’s like what I said earlier about the color you perceive being determined by the contrast in the piece. So…you know, this background is very dark, and even though there are these yellows and browns and reds in this dress, because this is kind of how we see things anyway, it looks white to us. If you look at a white piece of cloth, you would just think in your head, “Oh, this is white,” but if you did the same thing that’s going on in this diagram and picked out parts of it, it wouldn’t just be white, it would be a bunch of different colors. Yeah, that’s interesting.

Transcript:​ ​“How is color used in science?”

Student ’22 (Biochemistry), Changzhe (Physics)


​So I’m currently doing research on these compounds that change color based on temperature.


In physics, I think we use color to determine what’s in an object what’s not in an object.


The electrons that get excited are different for different temperatures, which then reflects in the color of the compound.


​So then hydrogen gas can only emit certain types of photon that can only show as one certain color on the spectrum. So that’s how we determine that’s Hydrogen.

Transcript:​ ​“To what extent is color a scientific measure or a subjective experience?”

Student ’22, Honor ’21, Sara ’22, Carissa ’21


I think that it can be both


I guess it’s probably like a mix of the two.


With chemistry, you can create different colors with certain chemicals. So there’s definitely a science behind the creation of different colors.


So I think that there’s a scientific way of how color happens.


But then there’s the subjectivity of how you respond to color.


How people see colors.


Most of the time no two people can see color the same way


My mom and uncle are blind, and I know people who are out there who are also color blind, so that’s really going to influence their experience of what color means to them.


Because we can’t really see through other people’s eyes. So we usually tend to believe what we see. And that’s what’s true to us, but that can be different for other people.