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Encyclopedia > White (color)

Alternate meanings: White (disambiguation)

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White is a color (more accurately it contains all the colors of the spectrum and is sometimes described as an achromatic color—black is the absence of color) that has high brightness but zero hue. The impression of white light can be created by mixing (via a process called "additive mixing") appropriate intensities of the primary color spectrum: red, green and blue, but it must be noted that the illumination provided by this technique has significant differences from that produced by incandescence (see below).

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Paint

In painting, white can be created by reflecting ambient light from a white pigment. White when mixed with black produces gray. To art sudents, the use of white can present particular problems, and there is at least one training course specialising in the use of white in art.


White light

Until Newton's work became accepted, most scientists believed that white was the fundamental color of light; and that other colors were formed only by adding something to light. Newton demonstrated that white was formed by combining the other colors.


In the science of lighting, there is a continuum of colors of light that can be called "white". One set of colors that deserve this description are the colors emitted, via the process called incandescence, by a black body at various relatively-high temperatures. For example, the color of a black body at a temperature of 2848 kelvins matches that produced by domestic incandescent light bulbs. It is said that "the color temperature of such a light bulb is 2848 K". The white light used in theatre illumination has a color temperature of about 3200 K. Daylight has a nominal color temperature of 5400 K (called equal energy white), but can vary from a cool red up to a bluish 25,000 K. Not all black body radiation can be considered white light: the background radiation of the universe, to name an extreme example, is only a few kelvins and is quite invisible.


Standard whites

Standard whites are often defined with reference to the International Commission on Illumination's (CIE's) chromaticity diagram. These are the D series of standard illuminants. Illuminant D65, originally corresponding to a color temperature of 6,500 K, is taken to represent standard daylight.


Computers

Computer displays often have a color temperature control, allowing the user to select the color temperature (usually from a small set of fixed values) of the light emitted when the computer produces the electrical signal corresponding to "white". The RGB coordinates of white are 255 255 255.


A Whitehat, also rendered as White hat or White-hat, is, in the realm of Information technology, a name that describes a person whom is ethically opposed to the abuse of Computer systems.


Usage, symbolism, colloquial expressions

  • The term white is often used in the West to denote "race" for so-called Caucasian people, i.e. people of European/West Asian descent with light skin color, whose skin color actually ranges from pink to pale brown, and overlaps with some people that might be classified as "Blacks". For more details, see Whites.
  • White noise, in acoustics, is a sibilant sound that is often a nuisance, although it can also be deliberately created for test purposes.
  • Whitewash, figuratively, means an attempt to obscure the truth by issuing a blanket of lies. See propaganda.
  • Whiteout is a weather condition in which visibility is reduced and surface definition lost in snowy environments.
  • To "show the white feather" is to display cowardice. In cockfighting, a white feather in the tail is considered a mark of inferior breeding. In Victorian England a purported coward would be presented with a white feather.

White in heraldry

Arthur Charles Fox-Davies has argued that white can be considered a tincture in heraldry separate from its use to represent argent, and in fact the labels borne on the arms, crests and supporters of members of the British Royal Family other than the reigning sovereign are invariably shown as white.


Color coordinates

 Hex triplet = #FFFFFF RGB (r, g, b) = (255, 255, 255) CMYK (c, m, y, k) = (0, 0, 0, 0) HSV (h, s, v) = (0, 0, 100) 

See also


  Results from FactBites:
 
White Color Symbolism - Colors That Go with White and The Meaning of the Color White (602 words)
In the East, it's the color for mourning and funerals.
White is often associated with hospitals, especially doctors, nurses, and dentists.
White Words: These words are synonymous with white or represent various shades of the color white.
White - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1239 words)
White is the color of things that reflect light of all parts of the visible spectrum equally and are not dull (see grey).
White is commonly the colour of snow and ice.
In Chinese and Indian tradition, white is the color of mourning, death, and ghosts.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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