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    Thread: Outside the Visible and Audible Light and Sound Spectrum

    1. #1
      Member petersonad's Avatar
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      Outside the Visible and Audible Light and Sound Spectrum

      Years ago I was curious about what the light outside of the visible light spectrum looked like. I originally assumed that the color before red (near infrard) was pink and I also said that pink was after violet (ultraviolet). They say the wavelengths of infrared are too long, and wavelengths of ultraviolet are too short to be seen or detected by the naked eye.

      Well, for some reason I decided to stare at the sun for about one minute. Then when I looked at the colors on my computer and all the colors seemed to shift to the left of the light spectrum. Green was now yellow, yellow was now orange, and red was dark red and brown. So I guess dark red and brown comes before red. Any way I wouldn't do it again as it's obviously not good for the eyes.

      Concerning ultraviolet, I've read that people had seen "red violet" after "violet" after cataract removal.

      I'm also synaesthetic. I like to associate different wavelengths of sound with different colors. If I try to look at the order or arrangement of each note from A to G as if it were a rainbow: it would begin as "A" (dark red) to "Bb" (bright red), "B" (orange) "C" (yellow) "C#" (white) "D" (light blue) "Eb" (deep blue) "E" (a mix of red and blue) and "F" (pure red). Unfortunaelty I'm not completely clear what the synaesthetic color of "G" might be. I guess I get a visual sensation of grey, with the next note "G#" being pure white.

      Now if the arrangment of colors of light are anything like the arrangement of colors of sound; I could come to the conclusion that the colors of light and sound repeat themselves over and over again as you travel to to the left of the spectrum, with each decreasing octave until it is too dark to be seen. And the colors of light and sound also repeat themselves over and over again going to the right until it is too bright to be seen.

      What do you guys think?
      Last edited by petersonad; 04-21-2011 at 07:46 PM.

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      Quote Originally Posted by petersonad View Post
      Years ago I was curious about what the light outside of the visible light spectrum looked like. I originally assumed that the color before red (near infrard) was pink and I also said that pink was after violet (ultraviolet). They say the wavelengths of infrared are too long, and wavelengths of ultraviolet are too short to be seen or detected by the naked eye.
      Does not compute.

      Now if the arrangment of colors of light are anything like the arrangement of colors of sound; I could come to the conclusion that the colors of light and sound repeat themselves over and over again as you travel to to the left of the spectrum, with each decreasing octave until it is too dark to be seen. And the colors of light and sound also repeat themselves over and over again going to the right until it is too bright to be seen.

      What do you guys think?
      You're making assumptions based on false pretenses. The smallest wavelength we can see is Violet. The longest is Red. There is no repetition.
      Visible spectrum - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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      Member petersonad's Avatar
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      So your saying that the colors do not get darker as you move left of the visible light spectrum and lighter as you move to the right. I might be wrong when it comes to the behavior of light wavelengths and their colors. But the lowest wavelength of sound looks black while the highest looks white. Each level of octaves have the same colors, but as you go up or down each octave the colors appear to have more black (darker) or more white (lighter) in it. I assumed wavelengths of light and their colors as you move to the left and right of the light spectrum does the same thing.

      Sound - right (closer to white), left (closer to black)
      Light - right (closer to violet), left (closer to red)
      Light repeats the sequence of colors before red until it turns black, while light repeats the sequence of colors after violet until it turns white.

      Are you saying this is not true?

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      Colored noise is completely unrelated. Colors of noise are combinations of many different frequencies, and they are named with colors based on their properties. However, this naming is just an arbitrary way to differentiate between them. Colors of noise - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Neither black, nor white appear on either end of the visible light spectrum. Black is the absence of light, and white is a combination of multiple different light frequencies. Neither appear in the spectrum at all. The ends are simply nothingness. We can not perceive them, so to us they are nothing.
      I don't know why you keep trying to say that the sequence repeats, when you can clearly see that it is not the case.


      To answer your initial inquiry. Light outside of the visible light spectrum looks like nothing. It's pretty elementary really.
      Last edited by LikesToTrip; 04-21-2011 at 08:45 PM.
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      The light spectrum doesn't appear to go from white to black to me. I might be wrong, since I haven't learned about the light spectrum since elementary school, but white is the color we perceive when we're given all of the other colors simultaneously. Black is the color we perceive when given none of the colors. They colors tend to get darker from the right to left.

      On spectrums, ultraviolet is usually drawn as a violet color, but it isn't really that color. The fact that it's "beyond the visible light spectrum" means we humans are incapable of perceiving it.

      Even different animals perceive different colors differently, so colors don't have objective ways of being perceived. The experience of color isn't in the light itself, it's what our brains imprint in our minds when our eyes are exposed to certain types of light. So there isn't even really an objective color that exists, and that we would perceive, if we could. To our brains, there simply is no such color.

      But you could say, if our brains had evolved the ability to see ultraviolet, what would it look like? Looking at the spectrum pattern near the left, it would make sense that it would appear to be something like a dark purple, but not that exactly, since you're incapable of imagining whatever color it is.

      It would be kind of nice to have synaesthesia, to see what it's like. I think everyone associates dark colors with low tones, and light colors with light tones. I do associate certain colors with certain letters. A is red, B is blue, C is yellow, D is red... but I don't actually hallucinate imprints of the colors when I see the letters, as synaesthetic people do. Except for in the strange case of the word Google. When I see it, in the font that Google is usually typed in, I'm so used to seeing it typed in colors, I might be experiencing what synaesthetic people do.

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      Quote Originally Posted by Dianeva View Post
      The experience of color isn't in the light itself, it's what our brains imprint in our minds when our eyes are exposed to certain types of light. So there isn't even really an objective color that exists, and that we would perceive, if we could.
      Color only exists psychologically. Perception =\= reality. Trippy shit.... I've wondered what it would be like to be able to perceive everything. Every sound, every frequency of light, etc. What does the universe really look like?
      Last edited by LikesToTrip; 04-21-2011 at 09:22 PM.

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      Colors are nothing more than the interpretation of a particular range of the spectrum. Colors themselves really are not the concrete universal concepts that we perceive them as. They are merely our brain's interpretation of the light waves. IF we could perceive more of the light spectrum, I think it would look like this: *shows you*
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      The question is of course an extremely interesting one, but also unsolved. Nobody I am aware of has ever made any real progress with this question or similar ones, because they deal with qualia, the subjective correlates of objective stimuli, which are totally bizarre and mysterious.

      The one thing I will say is that colour is not inherent to wavelengths. That is to say, if we suddenly gained capable eyes and underwent the necessary neural rewiring so that we experienced, for example, wavelengths of light five times those we can currently see (these would be heat rays; note this implies we would no longer be able to see "visible light"), there is no reason to think we wouldn't experience the same colours that we do now, purple for the heat with the shortest wavelength, red for the highest, because functionally the situation is the same. If everything in the universe were twice as small and moved twice as slowly, would you feel smaller? Does this question even make sense?

      Then again, there's no way of knowing if it's even valid to compare qualia in different instances, or what on Earth they even are or why something so apparently superfluous exists.

      Quote Originally Posted by LikesToTrip View Post
      Colored noise is completely unrelated. Colors of noise are combinations of many different frequencies, and they are named with colors based on their properties. However, this naming is just an arbitrary way to differentiate between them. Colors of noise - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

      Neither black, nor white appear on either end of the visible light spectrum. Black is the absence of light, and white is a combination of multiple different light frequencies. Neither appear in the spectrum at all. The ends are simply nothingness. We can not perceive them, so to us they are nothing.
      I don't know why you keep trying to say that the sequence repeats, when you can clearly see that it is not the case.


      To answer your initial inquiry. Light outside of the visible light spectrum looks like nothing. It's pretty elementary really.
      Light and sound are both waves. Pretty much any quality to can allocate to sound you can also allocate to light. What you're doing is conflating subjective experiences and objective facts. Objectively, light repeats in exactly the same way that sound repeats; sound wavelengths actually get shorter and shorter (physically) as they get higher and higher (mentally), but within the basic difference we also perceive a certain definite sameness in quality as we rise, i.e. a repetition (which we associate with a letter): the objective basis of this is that the wavelength has halved, and this causes resonance. You say that this does not happen with light but there is no empirical basis for that, because compared to sound, the range of light wavelengths we can perceive is much smaller: in fact, it does not double within that range. If it did, subject to the mechanism of sense, we may well experience an element of looping back. There may be a medium red, a high red, a higher red, and so on. Indeed, if you look at the two opposite ends of the spectrum, they do look similar; certainly more alike to each other than they are to green, yet if we only consider how high the wavelength is, it should be the other way around.

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      I always wondered why we experience a loop in notes, is it purely subjective?

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      Xei
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      I just answered that exact question.

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      "the objective basis of this is that the wavelength has halved, and this causes resonance."

      Could you explain resonance a little bit and why it causes halved sound wavelengths to repeat certain qualities we call notes? Is it subjectively relative so that you can halve the wavelength from anywhere? Or do notes loop objectively without us?
      Last edited by Wayfaerer; 04-23-2011 at 02:21 AM.

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      Infrared and ultraviolet light is undetectable by the human eyes, but I wonder what snakes and bees see.

      How about infrasound and ultrasound? I wonder what elephants and dogs hear.

      I guess they are more sensative to the "darker" or "whiter" sensation of sound; sounds too dark or light to hear. But it's not the paralell case in what snakes might see at night, or what bees feel when they see ultraviolet in flowers.

      I understand the "infra" and "ultra" to sound. But I don't understand the the "infra" and "ultra" to light.

      Does the two terms refer to the lightness or darkness of a color, as it does like sound; or do the terms "infra" and "ultra" need to be paired with a color, such as "infrared", to make any sense.

      If that's the case, could "infra-yellow" mean an orange-ish or darkish yellow color. Would "infra" might mean darker, while "ultra" mean lighter? What exactly does it mean in terms of color to be "below red" or "above violet". I once heard the saying "redder than red" and "bluer than blue".

      I think for infra-ultra color, on a spectrum would mean more to the left or right direction; and for infra-ultra sound it goes in a up and down direction.

      Last edited by petersonad; 04-24-2011 at 01:05 AM.

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      But you could say, if our brains had evolved the ability to see ultraviolet, what would it look like? Looking at the spectrum pattern near the left, it would make sense that it would appear to be something like a dark purple, but not that exactly, since you're incapable of imagining whatever color it is..
      Heh, I love to think about this, even if it is incredibly frustrating. I think I agree with everything you said except what I bolded.
      You only say that because in the picture, they gradient into each other, which makes it look like blue looks "kinda" like violet, which would mean that the next color would look "kinda" like violet. But it's not like that. It would only look like violet if it was mixed with violet, as with the in-between stages between each of the pure colors. (actually I don't remember which ones are the pure colors, is it Red Green and Blue?) Anyways, I made a little picture using the colors in your own post, where i removed the gradients. Without the gradients, there's absolutely no way to even think about what in the hell the colors left of violet and the colors to the right of red looks like, it's just... Impossible.

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