Wavelength of Visible Light Spectrum

The visible light spectrum is a fractional part of the electromagnetic spectrum, which is visible due to our eyes, which are light receptors. The wavelength of visible light spectrum is determined by the limits of visibility, of our eyes. This article will give you exact values for wavelength of visible light colors and will also discuss many basic issues, about the visible light spectrum.

Limiting Wavelength of Visible Light Spectrum
To be scientifically precise, wavelength range of electromagnetic radiation, that falls between 380 nanometers to 750 nanometers, constitutes the visible light spectrum. The two limits of wavelength of visible light in nanometers are, 380 nm and 750 nm, which denote the upper and lower end points, beyond which our eyes do not respond to electromagnetic radiation. That is, they are the wavelength ranges beyond which, we cannot see.

Wavelength of Visible Light Spectrum is Relative
The end point wavelength of visible light spectrum mentioned above, is with respect to the human eye. However, there are many animals, which can see beyond the human limits of wavelength, of visible light spectrum! Their visibility range extends into what we call the infra red range or ultraviolet range. In that sense, limits of visible light wavelengths, can be relative! What we see as colors are our optical system and brain’s response to a particular set of electromagnetic waves. So, wavelengths are an absolute concept but colors can be relative to the visual system.

Wavelength of Visible Light Colors
What would be life without colors? Imagine living in a black and white world! It would surely be dreary. As I said before, colors are our visual system’s response to incident electromagnetic radiation. The cells that are responsible for color perception, are the cone cells in the retina. Here, I present the wavelength of visible light spectrum, with respect to all the perceived colors. The human eye has maximum sensitivity and gives an optimum response to light, at the wavelength of 555 nm, which falls in the green region of the visible electromagnetic spectrum. No wonder our eyes like the green color! Every basic color has a range of wavelengths, which give it gradation. Green extends from pale green to dark green, blue extends from light to dark blue and so on. There are certain colors like pink or purple which are not basic colors. These composite colors are formed due to a mixture of certain basic colors, that is, through mixing of visible light wavelengths. Here is a table, which gives you the wavelength of visible light spectrum, divided in color regions, according to our perception. The wavelength of visible light in meters is mentioned in the table. The unit used is angstrom. One angstrom is 10-10m.

Color Wavelength Range in Angstrom (10-10m)
Violet 3800 – 4500
Indigo 4200 – 4500
Blue 4500 – 4950
Green 4950 – 5700
Yellow 5700 – 5900
Orange 5900 – 6200
Red 6200 – 7500

So, these are the wavelength of visible light colors, observed and calculated with the help of a spectrometer. As can be seen from the table above, violet color has the shortest wavelength of visible light and red has the longest wavelength of visible light. The colors of different objects perceived by our eyes, depend on the light absorption and emission properties of those objects. There are many more colors that we see in the world around us, besides the ones mentioned above. You may be wondering why they are not mentioned here. The reason is, that those composite colors are made by a mixture of wavelengths of these basic colors. A light wave packet consisting of a mixture of all these basic color wavelengths appears white. Read more on color spectrum chart.

A rainbow is seen due to refraction of light through raindrops. The wavelength of visible light spectrum mentioned here is in the exact order, as seen in a rainbow, the colors of which are abbreviated as VIBGYOR (using the first letters of all the basic colors, in case you haven’t noticed!). Hope you found in this article what you were looking for!

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