Colour Conundrum
Liron Gertsman, Radu Nastasa
Point Grey
Floor Location : J 028 F

In this experiment, we attempted to find out which colours can be seen best in low light situations. We believed that the colours with longer wavelengths would be easiest to see in low light because there are a large number of cone cells which detect red pigment, which has a long wavelength.
To test our hypothesis, we set up a dark room with 6 coloured papers taped to the wall. The colours were red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet, and each paper was a different individual colour. Having the room set up, we would bring a test subject into the dark room with their eyes closed and have them sit five metres away and open their eyes. We gave two minutes for the test subjects eyes to adjust shined a light at the papers at five different levels from dimmest to brightest. We asked the test subject to rank how well they saw each colour from 1 to 4 (including halves), and recorded the results for each light level.
Our data showed that colours with middle length wavelengths are easiest to see in low light situations. This meant that our hypothesis was wrong. As an overall result, we found out that yellow and green were easiest to see in low light, not red, like our hypothesis states. However, our graphs showed that all colours had a relatively equal increase of visibility.
Test subjects giving us false information would have been the only possible source of error in our project, however we did not detect any cases where this might have happened.
Our project can benefit modern day society in terms of safety. We found out that colours with middle wavelengths are easiest to see in low light environments. Using this information, we know that using colours like green and yellow will be the most visible at night. This means that if people wear colours like those at night, accidents such as being hit by cars be prevented