Anti-flash white is a white colour commonly seen on British, Soviet, and U.S. nuclear bombers. The purpose of the colour was to reflect some of the thermal radiation from a nuclear explosion, protecting the aircraft and its occupants.
- "Anti-flash white" | 2017-09-09 | 45 Upvotes 5 Comments
In many languages, the colors described in English as "blue" and "green" are colexified, i.e. expressed using a single cover term. To describe this English lexical gap, linguists use the portmanteau word grue, from green and blue, which the philosopher Nelson Goodman coined—with a different meaning—in his 1955 Fact, Fiction, and Forecast to illustrate his "new riddle of induction".
The exact definition of "blue" and "green" may be complicated by the speakers not primarily distinguishing the hue, but using terms that describe other color components such as saturation and luminosity, or other properties of the object being described. For example, "blue" and "green" might be distinguished, but a single term might be used for both if the color is dark. Furthermore, green might be associated with yellow, and blue with black or gray.
According to Brent Berlin and Paul Kay's 1969 study Basic Color Terms: Their Universality and Evolution, distinct terms for brown, purple, pink, orange and grey will not emerge in a language until the language has made a distinction between green and blue. In their account of the development of color terms the first terms to emerge are those for white/black (or light/dark), red and green/yellow.
- "Blue–Green Distinction in Language" | 2020-01-22 | 61 Upvotes 80 Comments
Eigengrau (German: "intrinsic gray", lit. "own gray"; pronounced [ˈʔaɪ̯gn̩ˌgʁaʊ̯]), also called Eigenlicht (Dutch and German: "own light"), dark light, or brain gray, is the uniform dark gray background that many people report seeing in the absence of light. The term Eigenlicht dates back to the nineteenth century, but has rarely been used in recent scientific publications. Common scientific terms for the phenomenon include "visual noise" or "background adaptation". These terms arise due to the perception of an ever-changing field of tiny black and white dots seen in the phenomenon.
Eigengrau is perceived as lighter than a black object in normal lighting conditions, because contrast is more important to the visual system than absolute brightness. For example, the night sky looks darker than Eigengrau because of the contrast provided by the stars.
Impossible colors (forbidden, non-physical, unrealizable or chimerical colors) are supposed colors that do not appear in ordinary visual functioning. Non-physical colors are those notionally resulting from combinations of retinal outputs which cannot arise in normal vision. Chimerical colors are perceived, typically transiently, through contrast effects.
Grue and bleen are examples of logical predicates coined by Nelson Goodman in Fact, Fiction, and Forecast to illustrate the "new riddle of induction" – a successor to Hume's original problem. These predicates are unusual because their application is time-dependent; many have tried to solve the new riddle on those terms, but Hilary Putnam and others have argued such time-dependency depends on the language adopted, and in some languages it is equally true for natural-sounding predicates such as "green." For Goodman they illustrate the problem of projectible predicates and ultimately, which empirical generalizations are law-like and which are not. Goodman's construction and use of grue and bleen illustrates how philosophers use simple examples in conceptual analysis.
- "Grue and Bleen: New riddle of induction" | 2018-08-12 | 49 Upvotes 52 Comments
Pantone 448 C, also referred to as "the ugliest colour in the world", is a colour in the Pantone colour system. Described as a "drab dark brown", it was selected in 2016 as the colour for plain tobacco and cigarette packaging in Australia, after market researchers determined that it was the least attractive colour. The Australian Department of Health initially referred to the colour as "olive green", but the name was changed after concerns were expressed by the Australian Olive Association.
Since 2016, the same colour has also been used for plain cigarette packaging in France, the United Kingdom, Israel, Norway, New Zealand, Slovenia, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey.
The colour has also been widely but erroneously reported as being known as "opaque couché"; in fact this is simply French for "layered opaque", in reference to being used on coated paper. The confusion appears to have arisen because "PANTONE opaque couché" is the French name of a swatch library (palette) used in Adobe Illustrator containing this colour and intended for printing in solid ink colours on coated paper; in English this library is known as "PANTONE solid coated".
- "Pantone 448 C" | 2020-01-22 | 442 Upvotes 277 Comments
Theory of Colours (German: Zur Farbenlehre) is a book by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe about the poet's views on the nature of colours and how these are perceived by humans. It was published in German in 1810 and in English in 1840. The book contains detailed descriptions of phenomena such as coloured shadows, refraction, and chromatic aberration.
The work originated in Goethe's occupation with painting and mainly exerted an influence on the arts (Philipp Otto Runge, J. M. W. Turner, the Pre-Raphaelites, Wassily Kandinsky). The book is a successor to two short essays entitled "Contributions to Optics".
Although Goethe's work was rejected by physicists, a number of philosophers and physicists have concerned themselves with it, including Thomas Johann Seebeck, Arthur Schopenhauer (see: On Vision and Colors), Hermann von Helmholtz, Rudolf Steiner, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Gödel, and Mitchell Feigenbaum.
Goethe's book provides a catalogue of how colour is perceived in a wide variety of circumstances, and considers Isaac Newton's observations to be special cases. Unlike Newton, Goethe's concern was not so much with the analytic treatment of colour, as with the qualities of how phenomena are perceived. Philosophers have come to understand the distinction between the optical spectrum, as observed by Newton, and the phenomenon of human colour perception as presented by Goethe—a subject analyzed at length by Wittgenstein in his comments on Goethe's theory in Remarks on Colour.
- "Goethe's Theory of Colors" | 2015-12-20 | 34 Upvotes 7 Comments
Vantablack is a material developed by Surrey NanoSystems in the United Kingdom and is one of the darkest substances known, absorbing up to 99.965% of visible light (at 663 nm if the light is perpendicular to the material).
The name is a compound of the acronym VANTA (vertically aligned nanotube arrays) and the color black.
- "Vantablack, one of the darkest substances known" | 2019-02-07 | 12 Upvotes 4 Comments
YInMn Blue (for yttrium, indium, manganese), also known as Oregon Blue, Mas Blue, or Yin Min Blue, is an inorganic blue pigment that was discovered accidentally by Professor Mas Subramanian and his then-graduate student Andrew E. Smith at Oregon State University in 2009. It is the first inorganic blue pigment discovered in 200 years, since cobalt blue was identified in 1802.
The compound has a unique trigonal bipyramidal structure, and further research has discovered it may be modified to create green, purple, and orange pigments.
- "YInMn Blue" | 2019-06-21 | 212 Upvotes 97 Comments