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Red + Blue = ?

Science brain teasers require understanding of the physical or biological world and the laws that govern it.


Puzzle ID:#28290
Fun:*** (2.83)
Difficulty:** (1.27)
Submitted By:Question_MarkAsx******




Ben, a physics teacher and Lucy, an art teacher were arguing about what color red mixed with blue makes. Ben said it made magenta but Lucy said it made purple. Who is correct?


They are both correct. The three primaries for color are red, blue and yellow. The three primaries for light are red, blue and green. When mixing colors, red + blue = purple, but when mixing light, red + blue = magenta.

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Jan 27, 2006

That was a good science teaser! Made me think at 4 am got my brain going thanks!
Jan 27, 2006

nice one, thanks for the teaser Question_Mark
Jan 27, 2006

i thought we learned in kindergartern that red plus blue = purple, but what do i know about science, right?
Jan 27, 2006

Good one. I got it right, but the wrong reason. I thought it had to do with the amounts of blue:red
Jan 28, 2006

Great One! I was totally stumped!
Jan 29, 2006

But did you know the only reasons that Red and Blue make Purple is because of they are not "pure" red and blue? Likewise for Blue and Yellow - pure blue and pure yellow paint would not give you green.
Jan 31, 2006

how easy.
i got it as soon as i finished reading it.
Feb 08, 2006

Technically, the primary colors for dyes are Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow. This can easily be proven by looking at the ink in a color printer. Mixing Yellow ink with Magenta will result in Red, mixing Cyan with Magenta will result in Blue, and mixing Yellow with Cyan will result in Green (see the relationship between the three primary colors for dyes and the three primary colors for light. If you don't, google it for a better explaination.) Since Red and Blue are created by mixing two colors, they can not be primary colors. However, Red, Blue, and Yellow are used in art as the primary color because paint is a complex mixture (as opposed to ink), and using Red and Blue works better than Magenta and Cyan when mixing paint.
Feb 14, 2006

That was a pretty easy one. I wasn't too sure about the physics part, but thought it sounded right too.
Feb 17, 2006

Arent magenta and purple the same thing?
Mar 12, 2006

i'm colour blind and i didn't even know there was a colour called magenta
Mar 13, 2006

Magenta is a light, pinkish sort of purple, for those confused. A really fun teaser, thanks.
Mar 14, 2006

Also depends on the quantity of the paint mixture.
Lots of red + little blue = Magenta!
Equal amounts = Purple!
Mar 15, 2006

I never knew that about pigment quantities. Thanks winddancir . Well I knew that different quantities made different colors but I didn't know what makes magenta.
Apr 12, 2006

the problem's solution is exactly what i thought. many thanks for the teaser
Apr 24, 2006

May 26, 2006

I want to mix paint... I take some red on one hand, I take some blue in the other hand.. and Indigo! [pun on "in they go..."]
Jun 02, 2006

Good teaser. Good answer.
Jun 17, 2006

Ok, for those of you who care. This comes down to the difference between additive colors and subtractive colors. Paint is a subtractive color because red paint for instance absorbs all the wavelengths of light in ambient light and reflects red. Light on the other hand is additive because you when you mix light of a certain wavelength with light of another, you get back a composite of the two. Technically speaking, if you mix all the wavelengths of light in the visible spectrum you get white, and if you mix all colors of paint you get black. I say technically because if you actually mix all the colors of paint you something called chromatic grey. That was a little sceintific for some of you I'm sure but this is the science category

Jun 28, 2006

I was in the same "situation" as WJSMama. I thought it had to do with the values of the colors. Oh, well, I don't know that much about science, anyway...math is so much more fun and I'm A LOT better at it
Nov 29, 2006

dantak & curtiss82:
thanks for the accurate information!
Nov 29, 2006

As a physics teacher, Ben should have known both answers. As would Moe, a teacher in theater arts. Moe might also mention that red light on blue paint and blue light on red paint can have the effect of seeming black.
Mar 17, 2007

Easy, but cool!
Apr 28, 2008

Is that why when I get my nails done- painted black- they always seem to look Blue instead?
Aug 21, 2009

nice one! i didn't get it--i guessed they were right because it wouldn't be much of a brain teaser if they weren't but i had no idea why

very fun! and very hard for me
Aug 21, 2009

Yay, got it right away!

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