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physical colors and Mathematica colors

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg26392] physical colors and Mathematica colors
  • From: PNichols at
  • Date: Sat, 16 Dec 2000 02:40:19 -0500 (EST)
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at

Dear Group,

I am working on a package for which I need a function which takes a
wavelength of light (in nanometers, for example) and returns an RGBColor
specification.  Has anyone made such a function for Mathematica?

Of course, it is not essential that the result be RGBColor; any other
standard computer-graphics color model would do the job (HSB, HLS, CMY,
CMYK, etc.), because the conversions are standard.  It's only the conversion
between one of these and physical wavelengths which I don't know.

I understand that human color perception is a complicated matter, and so is
rendering of color on computer display devices.  (The brightness dimension
is perhaps the most obvious ambiguity.)  It's probably nonsense  to ask for
a "perfect" correspondence between wavelength and RGB.  But is there a
"standard" mapping?  Or one that you think is "pretty good"?

I shall be grateful for even the smallest suggestions.

Preston Nichols
Visiting Assistant Professor of Mathematics
Cornell College

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