This model lets users interactively explore how the human eye interprets colors for various combinations of red, green, and blue light. The first simulation features three monochromatic lights in red, blue, and green. Use the slider to control the intensity of each color to see what colors will be perceived by human vision. The second simulation lets users apply a filter to white light or to any wavelength of color and examine how the filter determines what colors pass through to the eyes. Note: This resource has been rewritten to HTML5, making it more versatile for use in all major browsers, mobile devices, and tablets.
This resource is part of a large collection of free-access simulations by the Physics Education Technology Project (PhET) for use in STEM education from K-12 through graduate level. The simulations were designed using principles based on physics education research and refined based on student interviews and classroom testing.
From Molecules to Organisms: Structures and Processes (4-LS1)
Students who demonstrate understanding can: (4)
Use a model to describe that animals' receive different types of information through their senses, process the information in their brain, and respond to the information in different ways. (4-LS1-2)
Waves and Their Applications in Technologies for Information Transfer (MS-PS4)
Students who demonstrate understanding can: (6-8)
Develop and use a model to describe that waves are reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through various materials. (MS-PS4-2)
Disciplinary Core Ideas (K-12)
Electromagnetic Radiation (PS4.B)
When light shines on an object, it is reflected, absorbed, or transmitted through the object, depending on the object's material and the frequency (color) of the light. (6-8)
Information Processing (LS1.D)
Different sense receptors are specialized for particular kinds of information, which may be then processed by the animal's brain. Animals are able to use their perceptions and memories to guide their actions. (4)
Each sense receptor responds to different inputs (electromagnetic, mechanical, chemical), transmitting them as signals that travel along nerve cells to the brain. The signals are then processed in the brain, resulting in immediate behaviors or memories. (6-8)
Crosscutting Concepts (K-12)
Macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and atomic-level structure. (6-8)
Structure and Function (K-12)
Complex and microscopic structures and systems can be visualized, modeled, and used to describe how their function depends on the relationships among its parts, therefore complex natural structures/systems can be analyzed to determine how they function. (6-8)
%0 Electronic Source %D November 30, 2017 %T PhET Simulation: Color Vision %I PhET %V 2021 %N 19 September 2021 %7 1.0 %8 November 30, 2017 %9 text/html %U https://phet.colorado.edu/en/simulation/color-vision
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