Purple vs. Violet

· 547 words · 3 minute read

What is the difference between purple and violet?

Purple and violet are two similar colors, but there is a subtle difference between them.

Purple is a color that is a blend of blue and red. It tends to have more blue than red, resulting in a cooler tone. It is a darker color and can have a more muted or subdued appearance.

Violet, on the other hand, is a color that is more blue than red. It is a cooler color than purple and tends to be lighter and brighter. It can have a more vibrant and lively appearance.

Overall, the main difference between purple and violet is their hue, with purple being a mix of blue and red and having a cooler, darker tone, while violet is more blue than red and has a brighter, cooler tone.

What about in technical term? Is violet a color in spectrum but purple is not?

Yes, in technical terms, violet and purple have different origins and meanings.

Violet is a color that falls between blue and ultraviolet on the visible spectrum of light. It is a spectral color, meaning that it is a single wavelength of light that can be seen by the human eye. In other words, violet is a specific color that appears in the rainbow and can be produced by a monochromatic light source.

Purple, on the other hand, is not a spectral color. It is a non-spectral color, meaning that it is not a single wavelength of light but rather a combination of multiple colors. Purple is typically created by combining red and blue light, or by mixing pigments that reflect both red and blue wavelengths of light.

So, to summarize, violet is a specific color that appears in the spectrum of light, while purple is a color that is created by combining other colors and does not have a specific wavelength on the spectrum.

How does human eye see a non-spectral color like purple as compared to a spectral color?

The human eye perceives spectral colors, like violet, as pure and distinct colors because they are single wavelengths of light that stimulate only one type of photoreceptor in the retina. In contrast, non-spectral colors, like purple, are perceived as a combination of different wavelengths of light that stimulate multiple types of photoreceptors in the retina.

The human eye has three types of photoreceptor cells, called cones, that are sensitive to different wavelengths of light. These cones are most sensitive to short, medium, and long wavelengths of light, which correspond to blue, green, and red colors, respectively. When light of different wavelengths enters the eye, the cones respond to the various wavelengths and send signals to the brain that are interpreted as different colors.

For non-spectral colors like purple, the cones in the eye are stimulated by a combination of red and blue wavelengths of light. The brain then interprets this combination of signals as the color purple. The exact hue and saturation of the perceived purple color depend on the relative intensities of the red and blue wavelengths.

Overall, the human eye is capable of perceiving both spectral and non-spectral colors, but the way it perceives them is different due to the different ways they are generated and processed by the retina and brain.