Purpose: The purpose of this experiment is to determine why various solutions have different colors.
Background: Many people assume the visible color of an object is a property of that object. However, the visible color of the object is actually the color of the light that is being reflected by the object or transmitted by a solution. Various amounts of the white light are absorbed at different levels, which results in visible colors. When light hits an object, some of the light waves are absorbed by the object while others are reflected. The waves that are reflected are the ones we see. If light is transmitted through a solution, photons with a specific wavelength can be absorbed, leaving the rest of the light to be transmitted though it. The light left that is transmitted through the solution is what we see. For example, there are three primary colors: red, green, and blue. If the green is absorbed, then we see a mixture of red and blue, or purple/magenta. Not all the light of a specific color needs to be absorbed. This is how we see different shades of colors. In this lab, five different colored solution will be observed and we will predict the absorption spectra of each solution.