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March 8, 2012 • Gear Bits

Real Men Don’t Wear Pink; They Can’t, Because It Doesn’t Exist!

The color pink, technically called Magenta, is in theory a blend of Red and Violet. That is wonderful for mixing paints … but in terms of the electromagnetic spectrum it makes no sense.

Why is that? Because colors are based on a continuum, that means that in order for a color to exist it needs to follow some progression of wavelength shortening from red to violet. Color is visible to us based on the wavelength of light, and aside from the so-called ‘primary colors’ ROYGBIV’ (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet), all other colors are merely combinations of ADJACENT colors.

Look at the spectrum below:

In other words, if you want orange? Combine red and yellow. Green? Blue and yellow. And so on. But you can’t jump beyond that – orange and green don’t make yellow, but instead you find that for those colors it is yellow that is COMMON between them. Same with blue being the common element between green and indigo.

So if pink is the combination of Red and Violet, how does THAT work? Some think that there is a ‘wraparound’ effect of the spectrum. The problem with that is shown above – the visible spectrum is only part of the larger electromagnetic spectrum. Red and Violet aren’t ends – they are entry points to the infrared and ultraviolet spectra.

If you go back to complementary colors and divide the spectrum between red and violet, you get green. The hypothesis is that if you saturate your vision with white and remove green, what is left is … pink.

All of this comes from a blog article highlighted at Time called ‘minute physics’, which this week talks about WHY pink doesn’t exist, and instead states:

Speaking in terms of light, pink should probably be called ‘minus-green,’ because pink is just the leftovers of white light when you take out the green.”

Here is the Minute Physics video. Enjoy!

2 Responses to " Real Men Don’t Wear Pink; They Can’t, Because It Doesn’t Exist! "

  1. Bryan Eley says:

    THAT is fascinating.

  2. […] the different forms of Color Blindness in real-time using its camera. Michael Anderson’s Real Men Don’t Wear Pink; They Can’t, Because It Doesn’t Exist! post only added fuel to the fire of my curiosity of perception of color. However, let me pause for […]