Making Colors

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Guest Blog Post from Amanda Jenny, Widen Client Services Assistant

When I was a kid I always watched the show Watch Mr. Wizard.  For those of you that weren’t big dorks, Mr. Wizard was a scientist that taught you how to do lots of cool experiments.  

My tribute to Mr. Wizard is this color by addition experiment:

You’ll need three flashlights and three different colors of cellophane -- red, green and blue (RGB). Cover one flashlight with one or two layers of red cellophane and fasten the cellophane with a rubber band (do not use too many layers or you will block the light from the flashlight). Cover another flashlight with blue cellophane and a third flashlight with green cellophane. Go into a darkened room, turn the flashlights on and shine them against a wall so that the beams overlap. Where red and blue light overlap, you will see magenta. Where red and green light overlap, you will see yellow. Where green and blue light overlap, you will see cyan. In the center, where all three beams overlap, you will see white light. This is known as additive color theory.


By adding different intensities of red, green and blue light, you can make all the colors of the visible spectrum. This is how computer monitors (RGB monitors) produce colors.

This experiment went over way better with my mom than the one involving a lit candle and Kleenex (we’ll just leave it at that).

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