Friday, July 31, 2009

30 Second Science - Subjective Colors and Benham's Top

Here's an extension of, or maybe a take off from, the optic top we made earlier in the week. This time, instead of seeing colors blend together as the top spins, the eye sees flecks of color (known as subjective color), on a spinning black, and white disk.

We found several printable versions, as well as wonderful explanation of what scientists know, and don't know, about the colors seen on the disk, here, at Neuroscience for Kids.

It caught the children's interest, when they realized they were each seeing different colors on the same spinning top. That effect has something to do with the way the rods, and cones of the eye percieve different wavelengths of light, but scientists are still uncertain as to what is going on. It's is particulary interesting, when you consider C.E. Benham noted the phenomonom, more than 100 years ago, and the answer to what is causing it, remains a mystery of science.

What a great challenge for the kids!

It's great to be a homeschooler.

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