ROYCB? Why the Rainbow isn’t What We Think It Is

We all know the rainbow. We see it all the time: the reds, the oranges, the yellows, the greens—you get the picture. Or do you? MinutePhysics’ Henry Reich would argue that many of us, in fact, don’t. The way he sees it (and the way physics sees it), that warm, velvety purple that underlines every rainbow like the Achilles of arcs, well, isn’t really there. So he denies us our sweet, satisfying, grape-flavored conclusion, and then he gives it back, sort of.

Unfortunately, the jury’s still out on that pot of gold.

Note: What he said about violet being just another name for deep blue isn’t exactly true. Some red cones in the eye do fire in response to seeing blue-violet light, thus violet is more purplish than a pure blue. You can read more about that here.

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