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What determines the color of light- the wavelength or the frequency? I keep seeing sources that contradict each other and I am a little confused. Are they just both dependent on each other or does one have more of an effect?
Technically, they both determine the color of light. C = lamba x v shows how they are inversely proportional to the speed of light, c. Even though they both determine the color of light (they both will tell us essentially the same color on the spectrum), we most often use wavelength to determine the color of light simply because it is more convenient and the easier of the two to measure.
The wavelength or the frequency can determine the color of light because of the equation c = wavelength x frequency. The color of light is more commonly identified by wavelength however, because this is seen based on the values on the electromagnetic spectrum in nm.
Prof. Lavelle has made measurements of light using the wavelength of light, for instance when he mentioned that the wavelengths of violet and red light are 400 and 700 nm, respectively. Wavelength is typically used to determine the color of light.
Both can be used to determine the color of visible light. You can identity the specific color of light by mainly by wavelength but if you know the wavelength you find the frequency of light and compare it to what color that would be as well, by the equation speed of light = frequency x wavelength. Together, wavelength and frequency are inversely proportional to one another where if one variable such as the frequency or wavelength increases the other variable will decreases in proportion so that the product which is the speed of light will still remain unchanged.
If you look at a typical spectrum with the range of visible light, you will find that many spectrums use wavelength to differentiate between colors. However, since wavelength and frequency are inversely related, you can say that frequency also determines the color of light.
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