MadSci Network: Physics

Re: why we may like some matches of colours on clothes?

Date: Wed Jan 14 01:23:25 2004
Posted By: Werner Sieber, Research Scientist, Coating Effects,
Area of science: Physics
ID: 1074001833.Ph

To the first part of your question, I think we must admit that we don't 
know! Whole books have been written on the subject, though, e.g.: Werner 
G.K. Backhaus, Reinhold Kliegl and John S. Werner, eds., "Color Vision", 
Walter de Gruyter, Berlin, New York 1998. And preferences/dislikes of 
color matches vary from one individual to another. They are influenced by 
education, by fashion, age, and by the prevailing mood. As for myself, I 
quite like green with brown. In the second part, you use the 
phrase "wavelength of color". This reminds me of an earlier "madsci" 
question about analogies between sound and color. Here is a link to my 
answer  http:
The analogy can be misleading, since a given color may be elicited in our 
brain by various combinations of light wavelengths, and natural colors are 
never due to single wavelengths of light. So the agreeable color matches 
are not due to "harmonics" in the musical sense.
Best Regards
Werner Sieber

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