April 29, 2012

Blue Light (Is) Special

Because of its shorter wavelength, many law enforcement agencies
 use blue lights as they are better at penetrating fog, smoke and dust .

From Real Clear Science:
Scientists have noticed that all cultures developed names for colors in a certain order: black, white, red, green, yellow, and blue. Basically this means that the colors later in this list weren't identified with names until the colors at the beginning of the list were named. For instance, if a community has a name for green, it will have names for black, white, and red.

This trend is interesting and all, but is there a scientific reason for it?

In a recent study, a team of researchers presented a possible explanation for this color hierarchy. By creating a community of virtual people imposed with the limits of human vision, the researchers were able to watch color naming in action. Based on their observations, the team posited that the color hierarchy is caused by the properties of human vision.

You might have noticed that blue is last on the hierarchy. This doesn't mean that blue is the least significant color--it just means that humans eyes probably weren't able to detect it as easily as other colors.

In fact, blue light is unique because it has one of the shortest wavelengths of visible light. This property grants blue light some very useful applications.

1) Blue light goes the farthest
2) Blue light may help with depression
3) Blue light makes better movies
4) Blue light helps plants grow
5) Blue light treats acne, and

6) Blue is the world's favorite color.

No comments: