Color Matters: Science: Electromagnetic Color
Four thousand years ago, the Egyptians built healing temples of light. Bathing a patient in specific colors of light produced different effects. Today we know that a blindfolded person will experience physiological reactions under different colored rays. In other words, the skin sees in technicolor.
This fact was confirmed by the noted neuropsychologist, Kurt Goldstein. In his modern classic, The Organism, he notes that stimulation of the skin by different colors leads to different effects. He states, \"it is probably not a false statement to say that a specific color stimulation is accompanied by a specific response pattern of the entire organism.\"
In order to understand this, we must begin with the fact that color is a form of visible light. It is electromagnetic energy. The graph below shows where color is positioned in the range of radiant energy.
|Wavelength in meters||Name ||Uses |
(size of a nucleus)
|Gamma Rays||Cancer Treatment|
(size of an atom)
|X-Rays||Materials testing |
|10-8||Ultraviolet||Germicidal, black light, Suntan|
(diameter of a bacteria)
|Infrared||Human body radiation|
(size of a mouse)
|Microwave||Microwave ovens, atomic clocks|
(one meter, the size of a man)
|Radar, Television, F.M. Radio, International Short-wave|
(size of a village)
|Radio frequency (RF)||A.M. Radio|
(distance from Washington D.C. to Chicago)
|Audio frequency||Long-wave broadcast|
(distance to the moon)
Note: Ultraviolet and infrared are given as a point of reference.
They are not visible colors.
|Color||Wavelength mµ |
(billionths of a meter)
|Ultraviolet||380-280||The smaller the wavelength, the smaller the structures with which they interact and the more powerful the energy. Gamma rays (the size of a nucleus) are more powerful than A.M. radio waves (the size of a village) Violet at 400 mµ is stronger than red at 700 mµ. |