Learn more physics!
Is there a light bulb which makes things appear only black and white (i.e. you dont see color)? Or, is there something similar to it?
- Ryan (age 18)
No, lightbulbs work by producing light that is a mixture of
different colors. Some bulbs, like red lights produce only red-colored
light. But white light contains all of the colors. When you see an
object, what you are seeing is actually the colors of light that are
reflected off of that particular object. White objects reflect all of
the colors and black objects reflect none of them. If you put a
(normally) white object under a red light, it would look red since that
is the only color of light that is there.
The only way to get a (normally) white object to look white is if
you shine white light on it. But since white light contains all of the
colors, other objects can still appear to be different colors
(depending on which parts of the white light they reflect). To make
things look only black or white, you'd have to force every object to
either reflect all the colors or none of them - and you can't change
the properties of the objects themselves.
(republished on 07/28/06)
Follow-up on this answer.