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Chapter 9 - Color:
|A Random Illusion
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Purkinje Effect. - The relative sensibility of the retina varies for different colors with a change in brightness; or it may be better to state that the relative sensations for various colors alters as the brightness values are reduced to a low intensity. For example, if a reddish purple (consisting of red and blue or violet rays) be illuminated in such a manner that the intensity of illumination, and consequently its brightness, may be reduced from normal to a low value (approximating moonlight conditions), it will be seen to vary from reddish purple to violet. In doing this its appearance changes through the range of purples from reddish to violet. This can be accomplished by orientation of the purple surface throughout various angles with respect to the direction of light or by reducing the illumination by means of screens.
In general the Purkinje effect may be described as an increasing sensibility of the retina for light of shorter wave-lengths (violet, blue, green) as the brightness decreases, or a corresponding decreasing sensibility for light of longer wave-lengths (yellow, orange, red). The effect may be seen on any colored surfaces at twilight illumination. A blue and a red flower, which appear of the same brightness before sunset will begin to appear unequal in this respect as twilight deepens. The red color will appear darker more quickly than the blue color as long as the daylight does not change appreciably. Finally all color disappears. It is better to perform this experiment under artificial light, in order that the spectral character of the illuminant may be certain to remain constant. In this case rheostats must not be used for dimming the light because of the attendant changes in color or quality of the light.
The Purkinje effect may be noticed by the careful observer and it is responsible for certain optical illusions. Apparently it cannot operate over one portion of the retina, while the remainder is stimulated by normal intensities of light.
Chapter 9 - Color:
Color Sensibility of the Retina
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Chapter 9 - Color:|
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