# The Physics of Light and Color – Part 2

Electrons emit photons, and the color information comes from the electron's frequency. The world is colorless until our eyes convert the frequencies into color. Does this change everything we know about light and energy and how they interact?

## Overview of the Physics

Electrons have the same frequency as the atoms or molecules they orbit. When a light source shines on a material's surface electrons, their frequency transfers to the photons, which carry the frequency to our eyes.  Then, our eye's light cones translate the energy into visual shapes and colors. Photons are the carriers of electromagnetic energy, and photons emitted from materials are the carriers of visual frequencies. The color information of a material arrives as frequencies to our eyes, so the color of an object doesn’t exist in the wavelengths of light. Our eye cones transform the frequencies into color.

Mathematically, the wavelengths give optical descriptions of light, but the energy of photons is in their frequency. When we mix pigments to make different paint colors, the pigments have a different frequency, and our eyes perceive the frequency as color. Using wavelengths to mix colors gives the same effect in theory, but it’s not the physics of color.

A ray of sunlight contains trillions of photons with a discrete frequency. Photons are quantum energy “packets” emitted by electrons. Photons do not interact with each other—their energy interacts with electrons on the surfaces on which they land.

Neutrinos also travel by electromagnetic energy, but they have a greater frequency and are unlikely to interact with electrons. They can pass through the Earth without slowing down or being adsorbed by electrons. Note that neutrinos are proven to have a tiny mass equivalent to their energy, so photons must also have energy equivalent to mass. We can’t weigh these quantum particles because they exist as kinetic energy without being at rest. Saying the energy is massless is correct because we cannot weigh them, but they're equivalent to mass, just like any mass is equivalent to energy.

It’s estimated that solar neutrinos pass through our bodies 100 trillion times per second. On a sunny day, the number of photons entering our eye is also about 100 trillion per second. We need to understand that a photon has the tiniest amount of energy, but the immense amount of photons entering our eyes has a substantial amount of energy. That’s why human eyes can develop cataracts between 55 to 80 years of age.

Photons have energy and mass, but instruments aren't sensitive enough to measure them. Electrons have an energy field containing a photon, and the photons emitted have the frequency of the atom or molecule. White light has a frequency of white light and doesn’t consist of any other frequency. We can’t see light. We can only see a light source, the light source reflecting off an object, and "electronic" light emitted from the electrons in matter.

## Light and Color Comes from Electrons

Light or any other force acting on a material’s electrons causes the energy field of the electrons to expand and, upon contracting, emit photons with the material's frequency.  Light comes from two different sources. Our vision is a two-step process of a light source interacting with matter—light from sunlight, fire, electric lamps, candles, and so on illuminates the world. The vision we see is "electronic light," which only comes from the various electrons in matter.

The color of an object comes from the frequency of its electrons. The “light” we see is emitted by electrons vibrating at the frequency of its molecules. People say light is reflected from objects. However, photons are emitted by electrons. When light hits red, green, and blue objects, the electrons in them vibrate at the frequency of their color, so the light emitted has the same frequency.

When the red light in a photographic darkroom is the light source, it doesn’t have the energy to interact with the electrons in objects, so they reflect red shades of the room. The lack of colors is absent in darkness because the frequency and intensity of light aren’t enough to react with electrons.

## A Photographer’s Dark Room

Imagine the old photographic dark room and how black and white prints were created on photographic paper. The light in the room was a red light having a low intensity. Everything in the room was dark shades of red. A negative was placed in the enlarger, and light-sensitive paper was placed in an easel. When the enlarger’s light was turned on, it reacted with the silver in the paper. Then, the paper was placed in the developer solution, and when the image appeared, it was placed in the stop bath and then in the fixer solution. The white room light was turned on at this stage to view the result. If the exposure was good, then it was washed in water and hung to dry. I built a darkroom and even processed color prints. But printing color was performed entirely in the dark… It was a magical process.

## Electrons and Their Photons

The study of electrons has opened up new answers about light and quantum particles. Swedish scientists made a video of an electron. It shows a tiny particle in the center of the electron, surrounded by an energy field that vibrates with a frequency.

Photo of an electron with a vibrating frequency field like a photon.

This classic picture looks like an atom. Scientists discovered that the energy field around an electron is like a photon. A photon in the energy orbital of an electron makes sense. An electron has a rest mass of 0.511Mev. It’s 1,836 times lighter than a proton, which has a positive charge of one, while the electron has a negative charge of one.

Wow, imagine an electron has a photon in its orbit. How could photon radiation create electrons during the Big Bang if photons have no mass? Remember, energy is equivalent to mass at the quantum level. Interestingly, photons made electrons during the Big Bang; now, electrons make photons to give us vision. Light doesn’t exist independently; electrons must create it.

An electron can gain energy during a mechanical, electrical, chemical, electromagnetic, nuclear, or quantum force. The electron adds the increase in energy to its “photon” orbital, and it expands to a higher energy state in the electron. However, that energy is immediately given back as one photon of light. It’s a very fast process, so the photon emitted could be the electron’s original orbital photon.

The question is, does the photon have mass? Energy and mass always work together. Understand that any electromagnetic energy must have a mass that creates that energy. So, a photon is quantum energy that orbits an electron at light speed. Moreover, electrons are fundamental particles with a dual wave-particle nature. Therefore, it makes sense that photons are energy orbitals in electrons. We have much more to learn about the quantum nature of energy in fundamental "particles."

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### About the Author Erik Lovin

Erik has a BSc degree and is a retired professional photographer who is now a published author of many books. His passion is understanding how life and the universe work. He is currently blogging about the science of the Big Bang and science in your life. Erik is helping his tribe with questions about the universe. His goal is to help find a theory of everything (TOE). In order to do that, he is trying to prove light has mass and that the fabric of spacetime is a false theory. We are welcoming questions and answers that you might have about the universe.