What colour is an orange in the dark

Discussion in 'General Science & Technology' started by mick, Oct 21, 2001.

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  1. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    Mmmmh.......
    Read posts before replying to them.
    I might try that.
     
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  3. Oli Heute der Enteteich... Registered Senior Member

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    So doesn't colour-blindness indicate that perception IS part of the problem?
    I recall the story of one kid at school who persistently painted his grass as black in art class.
    Because he was colour blind he couldn't tell that there was any difference at between green and black.
    Hence, if we all colour-blind, we wouldn't know that grass is green and funeral clothes are black.
    And before you start: what colour are most flowers (especially the "interesting" ones) to bees? They see into UV (I think), so all humans are colour-blind as far as bees are concerned.
    Simply because science can show us what colours a bee sees does not mean that we're going to change our description of flowers.
    But is our description more real than a bee's?
    The colour orange is a human "concept" and definition, based on what WE see through our (limited) eyes - not the orange itself.
     
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  5. ripleofdeath Registered Senior Member

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    surely the test is

    will it still happen when we are not present ?

    and that would be a yes.

     
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  7. Enmos Staff Member

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    What problem ?
    I don't understand what perception has to do with what color an object is or, to put it more general, what perception has to do with the characteristics of the perceived object.

    This is what you were getting at earlier. I don't see what relevance perception has. It doesn't matter if you see orange as green or if I see it as blue. An orange might look green to me, but that doesn't change its chemical composition. It doesn't even change the wavelengths that hit my retina.

    Yep, but we still know what kind of molecules reflect ultra-violet light. That we happen to be unable to perceive it doesn't change that fact.

    No. Color names are just that, names. And they indicate (whatever you decided upon calling them) the chemical composition of the object.

    Of course. Names are just names. That's all the more reason to define color the way I do as opposed to what it might look like at the moment (highly subjective)

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  8. Pandaemoni Valued Senior Member

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    It doesn't seem that anyone has mentioned "memory color" yet. It's well documented that humans allow their perception of a color to be influenced by what may be called the "characteristic" color of an object (say the color it would have under a noonday sky).

    If you buy a white car, you see it as a white car, even if it is sunset and the car is (from a more objective standpoint) light orange due to its reflecting the dwindling sunlight. What color is the car in that example? Well, if "color" is the descriptiuon of the light that is reaching your eye from the object, the car is orange. If "color" is a property of the car that describes how it interacts with light of various shades, the car is white. In the latter case, though when you see an orange car at sunset it may not be possible for you to describe its "color", as the most you could say is that it appears to be orange, but it's true color can only be determined under more optimal lighting conditions.

    I think a case could be made for either definition. The latter definition seems to be the one that describes how memory color interprets the world, of course. Interestingly there are a few examples of cases in which memory color does not work. For example, steak viewed under blue light tends to look blue (and a bit putrid), no matter how many steaks one has seen.
     
  9. Enmos Staff Member

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    White balance

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  10. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

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    When you go through a traffic light, can you claim that the lights were on green even if the lamp was not on?
     
  11. Enmos Staff Member

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    lol

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  12. error01120524 Registered Member

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    When I first saw the question of the OP I saw in it the same problem as the "Schrodinger's cat paradox". Bsically, it can be anything in the dark, unless we decide to observe it by using instruments. But then some of you started saying that it's color is merly a property of the compsition of the outer layer of the orange; which is absolutely right. So I turned towards that answer also. But after a while, I thought about that too, how do we know the properties of the orange? We would of needed to mesure them, wich is also part of the paradox, therefore I stand with my first idea, it could be anything in the dark.

    --------

    Thinking about it (this is another completly different route), color is light. In the dark there is no llight so there is no color, therefore the orange has no color (unless it emits it's own light).
     
  13. Enmos Staff Member

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    Why is it part of the paradox ? Do you think that in the dark the composition of the orange could change to anything and then magically revert back the moment the light is turned back on ?
    If so, please explain the mechanism behind this.
     
  14. EndLightEnd This too shall pass. Registered Senior Member

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    The second line there is similar to electrons in QM going through every possible path of potentials, until the observation is made, or in this case the "light" gets turned on and it selects just one path.

    If the orange does not change in the dark, how do you know that? There is no proof until the light comes back on...

    By claiming the orange remains an orange is claiming to have knowledge of the orange you can only know when the light is on. Light itself may change the properties of our orange, we literally have no way of knowing other than through thought experiments.

    Quantum mechanics.
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2009
  15. Enmos Staff Member

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    The thing is, you need to prove (or at least provide evidence) that the orange indeed can change in the dark.

    Quantum mechanics is about subatomic particles, not oranges.
    Besides, naming a field of science is hardly an explanation.
     
  16. EndLightEnd This too shall pass. Registered Senior Member

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    Quantum mechanics is the evidence. It shows us directly potentials change based on observation. Its been experimentally confirmed many times over. In our case "light" is the observation.

    They have recently made "buckyballs" (fullerene with 60 carbon atoms) behave in exactly the same way as the electron in the original double slit experiment, so no it is not just limited to subatomic particles.

    Besides what do you think oranges are made of? A giant particle called "orange"?

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  17. Enmos Staff Member

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    It's nonsense and you know it.
     
  18. draqon Banned Banned

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    not enough info for complete answer.
     
  19. draqon Banned Banned

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    actually his quantum particle explanation is true.

    After all you could analyze an orange in darkness with other quantum particles...by bombarding it and seeing what reflects and not.
     
  20. Enmos Staff Member

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    And you'd also be able to determine the chemical composition of the orange in the dark. Which would prove that it didn't change.
    But then, some quantum dimwit would just say that it's chemical composition reverted the moment it was tested :shrug:
     
  21. EndLightEnd This too shall pass. Registered Senior Member

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    You guys miss the point.

    Tell me how is bombarding an orange with quantum particles any different that bombarding it with light for information? It isnt. Fundamentally it is an observation being made, which alters the "normal" wave-function we call orange.

    For a forum where science is defended, right or wrong, I must say QM still draws alot of apprehension from people simply because its ideas are so strange. But this is not news either, "For those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it." -Niels Bohr
     
  22. draqon Banned Banned

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    EndofLight, there are quantum particles than interact with photons, their interaction can be analyzed for data and recorded to judge for presence of photons in that orange in the dark.
     
  23. EndLightEnd This too shall pass. Registered Senior Member

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    The whole point of "in the dark" is that there are no photons.
     
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