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  • Why do different wave lengths cause electrons to behave(?) differently, causing us to see different colors?

  • What is happening at the quantum level which causes the colour black to absorb all of the wavelengths of white light?

  • Why is it that a black can of soft drink will heat up more than a white one?

  • How does the energy, while passing through different colours, increase the temperature differently?

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1 Answer 1

You have asked too many questions. Here are the answers First you need to understand that light is nothing but electromagnetic wave, there is nothing like color associated with any light. Color is completely a phenomena of your eye. When you see objects you just receives light reflected or refracted from those objects which is perceived by your eye as color. Eye contains three types cells (cones) red,blue, green, these are activated by different wavelengths of light in different way and generate different colors you see.

Your second question I think every object in universe in thermal equilibrium both absorbs and emits radiation continuously. When you see a black object, that object is actually absorbing radiation in visible spectrum but must be emitting radiation of some other wavelengths. It is not just absorbing all the radiation, if it were, its temperature will go on increasing and it will never attain thermal equilibrium. This process of absorbing and emitting radiation occurs because of charged matter present (mainly electrons). Electromagnetic field of electromagnetic radiation accelerates these charged particles and accelerated charged particles emit electromagnetic radiation. You might want to read more about black body radiation to understand more about it.

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I suppose question was - what's different between those three types of cones? What makes one "activated" by certain light while the other not. –  Juris Mar 22 '12 at 15:03

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