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Re: physical colors and Mathematica colors

  • To: mathgroup at
  • Subject: [mg26414] Re: physical colors and Mathematica colors
  • From: Jens-Peer Kuska <kuska at>
  • Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2000 00:21:37 -0500 (EST)
  • Organization: Universitaet Leipzig
  • References: <91f7u4$>
  • Sender: owner-wri-mathgroup at


a) the conversion in a nice FORTRAN program can be found at
b) You can dwonload a Mathematica package
   ColorFuntions.m form 

   with a function SpectralColor[h] that returns the RGB colors for
   h in [0,1] (or lambda in [380,700] nm)
   the scalung for h in [0,1] is done to use it as value for the
   ColorFunction option.


PNichols at wrote:
> 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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