Chromatic Colors

Any color in which one particular wavelength or hue predominates. For example, blue and green are chromatic colors, while white, gray, and black are achromatic colors, as they have no dominant hue (all wavelengths are present in equal amounts within those colors). White light is considered achromatic, as it possesses no dominant hue. It is only when one particular wavelength (for example, red) is filtered out that the light becomes chromatic, possessing the color which is the opposite of the light that was filtered. Thus, if red light is filtered out, the opposite of red—cyan—will dominate. Objects and surfaces have the same effect on light, and in fact it is because they act essentially like filters that things have any color at all. An object—such as an apple—appears red because the atoms and molecules that comprise it absorb blue-green light, reflecting back the opposite color—red. (See also Achromatic.)

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