# Why can I see the colour black?

uzless
Science 25 Feb '08 20:05
1. uzless
The So Fist
25 Feb '08 20:05
If an object is blue because the object is absorbing all colours of the light spectrum but is reflecting the blue wavelength and white objects reflect all wavelengths consider this.

If black objects absorb all wavelengths, and therefore do not reflect any light, how come we can see the objects? Shouldn't they be invisible?

How do you "see" black?
2. 25 Feb '08 20:15
you don't see black. You see an absence of colour.
3. 25 Feb '08 20:38
Originally posted by uzless
If an object is blue because the object is absorbing all colours of the light spectrum but is reflecting the blue wavelength and white objects reflect all wavelengths consider this.

If black objects absorb all wavelengths, and therefore do not reflect any light, how come we can see the objects? Shouldn't they be invisible?

How do you "see" black?
You're right. We cannot see (totally) black things. That's the reason they're black.
4. 25 Feb '08 21:17
Originally posted by FabianFnas
You're right. We cannot see (totally) black things. That's the reason they're black.
So what does black really look like or is this just a theoretical thing that no-one can prove because we can't see black.
5. ivan2908
SelfProclaimedTitler
25 Feb '08 21:211 edit
"look like"

It looks like black from humans eye perspective, snake may see that differently, carrot do not see it at all...
6. 25 Feb '08 21:40
Originally posted by uzless
If an object is blue because the object is absorbing all colours of the light spectrum but is reflecting the blue wavelength and white objects reflect all wavelengths consider this.

If black objects absorb all wavelengths, and therefore do not reflect any light, how come we can see the objects? Shouldn't they be invisible?

How do you "see" black?
You can't see a black hole....

ðŸ˜€
Baby Gauss
25 Feb '08 21:46
Originally posted by uzless
If an object is blue because the object is absorbing all colours of the light spectrum but is reflecting the blue wavelength and white objects reflect all wavelengths consider this.

If black objects absorb all wavelengths, and therefore do not reflect any light, how come we can see the objects? Shouldn't they be invisible?

How do you "see" black?
Because of the all other colours that are being refelcted around it. But the real reason is that real black entitites don't exist. Real bodies always reflect a little bit.
8. uzless
The So Fist
25 Feb '08 21:46
Originally posted by FabianFnas
You're right. We cannot see (totally) black things. That's the reason they're black.
Exactly, so if someon tells you something is "green", they should really be saying that thing is "everything but green" since the object is absorbing everything except the green wavelength.

My "blue car" should be called an "everything but blue" car.

Or better still, a "not blue" car. My car wants nothing to do with blue.
9. 25 Feb '08 22:21
Originally posted by uzless
Exactly, so if someon tells you something is "green", they should really be saying that thing is "everything but green" since the object is absorbing everything except the green wavelength.

My "blue car" should be called an "everything but blue" car.

Or better still, a "not blue" car. My car wants nothing to do with blue.
10. Mexico
Quis custodiet
25 Feb '08 22:31
Originally posted by uzless
If an object is blue because the object is absorbing all colours of the light spectrum but is reflecting the blue wavelength and white objects reflect all wavelengths consider this.

If black objects absorb all wavelengths, and therefore do not reflect any light, how come we can see the objects? Shouldn't they be invisible?

How do you "see" black?
you can't see black because your colour blind??ðŸ˜›

sorry couldn't resist
11. Aiko
Nearing 200000...!
25 Feb '08 23:231 edit
Originally posted by Nordlys
That should be a partly green and a partly yellow rejecter. If not mistaken.
12. wormwood
If Theres Hell Below
25 Feb '08 23:49
seeing black is not a physics question, it's a biology question. it's the way our visual cortex interprets lack of (sufficient) stimulus on photoreceptors in our eyes. and as such, it would be theoretically possible to see absolute black. it wouldn't mean that something you look at wasn't emitting anything though, just that its intensity is too low to trigger a reaction.
13. 26 Feb '08 00:532 edits
Originally posted by uzless
If an object is blue because the object is absorbing all colours of the light spectrum but is reflecting the blue wavelength and white objects reflect all wavelengths consider this.

If black objects absorb all wavelengths, and therefore do not reflect any light, how come we can see the objects? Shouldn't they be invisible?

How do you "see" black?
Education. You were taught to associate the concept "color black" when your eyes can't catch enough radiation in the appropriate wavelenghts to stimulate a response to your brain.

If black objects absorb all wavelengths, and therefore do not reflect any light, how come we can see the objects? Shouldn't they be invisible?
If the object was really black you wouldn't see it. Your definition is correct. But there are small reflections even from what we call black objects that allow you to see them.
14. smw6869
Granny
27 Feb '08 03:54
Originally posted by uzless
If an object is blue because the object is absorbing all colours of the light spectrum but is reflecting the blue wavelength and white objects reflect all wavelengths consider this.

If black objects absorb all wavelengths, and therefore do not reflect any light, how come we can see the objects? Shouldn't they be invisible?

How do you "see" black?
Good question uzless. It sure beats arguing about politics. Great site.

F.GRANNY.
15. AThousandYoung
West Coast Rioter
27 Feb '08 05:08
Originally posted by uzless
If an object is blue because the object is absorbing all colours of the light spectrum but is reflecting the blue wavelength and white objects reflect all wavelengths consider this.

If black objects absorb all wavelengths, and therefore do not reflect any light, how come we can see the objects? Shouldn't they be invisible?

How do you "see" black?
You see the contrasting colors around it.